Following a nationwide search, Mary Baldwin University has selected Brigadier General Teresa Djuric to serve as the new commandant of cadets for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) and special assistant to the president, effective October 1.
Djuric — who most recently served as deputy director in the Space Intelligence Office at the Pentagon — succeeds Brigadier General N. Michael Bissell, VWIL’s first commandant, who announced his retirement in May.
In the search for a new commandant, the college zeroed in on candidates who had experience in command and administrative logistics as well as leadership development programs in both military and civilian settings. The new commandant search committee also focused on candidates with excellent organizational, communication, and counseling skills.
“General Djuric has the experience, credentials, and personal character to lead VWIL into its next thriving chapter,” said Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox. “She is exactly who we were hoping to attract to the position — an accomplished individual with passion and energy who will inspire students and colleagues to excellence, build connections throughout our college community and beyond, and evolve VWIL to be even more successful in preparing young women to succeed in both civilian and military careers.”
Djuric has led both small and large academic and operational units; has served as an instructor to military and civilian audiences; and as a four-time commander has established solid working relationships with the national guard and reserves, military services, school superintendents, municipal officials, and community landowners. She also has executed the most extensive Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) field-training overhaul in 60 years.
Djuric’s track record in leadership development also proved attractive to administrators at Mary Baldwin, which emphasizes student leadership opportunities within VWIL and beyond. As commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development at Air University, Djuric established the first Air Force civilian leadership course for newly hired civilians. She led 2,500 instructors responsible for training 23,000 cadets at universities and officer training schools and 115,000 JROTC cadets at 884 high schools. Djuric managed the Air University officer training campus, oversaw a $250 million budget and $28 million in renovations, and was accountable for delivering 80 percent of the Air Force’s new officers and cultivating citizens of character.
In the course of her career, Djuric operated space systems at three space wings; deployed to Southwest Asia as the first director for space forces to support the war on terrorism; commanded at the squadron, group, wing and educational center levels; and served on staffs at the Air Force Personnel Center, U.S. Pacific Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In her most recent role in the Space Intelligence Office, Djuric led budget planning for space programs valued at $12 billion and worked closely with the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics as the chief of staff addressing congressional issues.
A decorated military leader, Djuric’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the General O’Malley Award for Distinguished Space Leadership.
She earned master of strategic studies at the Army War College, a master of arts in curriculum and instruction at the University of Colorado, and a bachelor of science in computer science at Mary Washington College. Her military biography is posted online at https://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108363/brigadier-general-teresa-ah-djuric.aspx.
“It’s an honor and privilege to join the Mary Baldwin University community as we continue developing strong leaders and involved citizens of character,” Djuric said. “I’m eager to guide the cadet corps into the next chapter of its legacy, and I’m already inspired by the cadets’ dedication to their education and willingness to participate in this challenging military environment and leadership program.”