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Honorary Board Members

The Veterans for National Security Foundation periodically awards positions on the Honorary Board to deserving individuals from many different backgrounds. The current Honorary Board includes elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government, along with heads of business and law. Please click on the Biography links to learn more about the individuals committed to helping veterans continue their service to the nation.

Jack Reed - Senator, U.S. Senate

Jack Reed is the 47th United States Senator from Rhode Island. Elected to the Senate in 1996, Reed, who succeeded Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI), previously served three terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island's 2nd Congressional District. Reed has been a leader in the House and the Senate on education, health care and campaign finance reform, promoting and strengthening Rhode Island's economy and on defense, international affairs, child care and gun control issues.

Reed was born in 1949 in Providence, Rhode Island and since 1950 has resided in Cranston, Rhode Island. After graduating from LaSalle Academy in Providence, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. Following his graduation from West Point and receiving an active duty commission in the United States Army, Reed attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he received a Masters of Public Policy. Reed, an Army Ranger and a paratrooper, served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon leader, a Company Commander and a Battalion Staff Officer. He returned to West Point in 1978 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences.

Marsha Blackburn - Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Marsha Blackburn was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives at the start of the 108th Congress where she was one of only a few newly-elected congressmen selected to serve as an assistant whip on the majority whip team. Within her first few months in Washington, Blackburn was named a "freshman to watch" by National Journal, while Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, called her a "rising star." In 2004, a survey of senior Capitol Hill staff by Washingtonian Magazine declared Blackburn the Republican "top newcomer" in the House of Representatives.

At the start of the 109th Congress, Blackburn was selected by House leadership for a coveted seat on the exclusive House Energy & Commerce Committee. The committee is noted for its broad jurisdiction, and will play a key role in much of the legislative agenda in 2005. In the previous Congress, Blackburn served on the Judiciary, Education and the Workforce, and Government Reform Committees. She was the Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management where she targeted waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal government operations. Blackburn also served as the Government Reform Committee’s member designee to the Joint Committee

Mike Pompeo - Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Mike attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating first in his class. During his time as an officer in the United States Army, Mike served with distinction as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, leading troops as they patrolled the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Mike then came back to his family roots in South Central Kansas and founded Thayer Aerospace along with three partners. In less than a decade, the company grew to having over 400 Kansas employees. In 2006, Mike sold his interest in Thayer Aerospace and soon thereafter became President of Sentry International, an independent business that is engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sale of equipment used in oilfield and industrial applications around the globe.
Mike  serves on the Energy and Commerce committee which oversees federal law and policy relating to healthcare, telecommunications, energy and trade issues.

John Shimkus - Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

In the House, United States Military Academy graduate John Shimkus represents Illinois' 19th District. Congressman Shimkus graduated from West Point in 1980. While he resigned his active duty commission in 1986 he has remained in the US Army Reserves and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel. Congressman Shimkus' resignation from the Army did not end his continued service as a leader of this nation. Instead he dedicated his time to educating high school students by teaching history and government. In 1996 he was elected to the US House of Representatives.

David Heineman - Governor, Nebraska

Governor Heineman was sworn-in as Nebraska's 39th Governor on Friday, January 21, 2005. Prior to becoming Governor, he served more than three years as Lieutenant Governor, having been appointed in October 2001 and elected to a new four year term in November 2002. Governor Johanns resigned on January 20, 2005, after being confirmed as the United States Secretary of Agriculture.

As Lt. Governor, he served as Nebraska's director of homeland security, chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC), and the presiding officer of the Nebraska Legislature. As chairman of the NITC, he worked with the University of Nebraska to create a telecommunications backbone across the state, for use by both the university and state government, to reduce costs, expand services and enhance distance learning opportunities. As the state's homeland security director, he led Nebraska into the national spotlight, recognized for innovative approaches to homeland security. In March 2004, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge appointed Heineman to his Homeland Security Advisory Council.