Craig R. McKinley assumed the role of President and CEO, National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) on January 1, 2015. Prior to joining NDIA, he served as President of the Air Force Association (AFA).
He retired after 38 years in the Air Force as a four-star general in November 2012. His last assignment was as the Chief, National Guard Bureau, where he also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was a military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council. He was the Department of Defense's official channel of communication to the Governors and to State Adjutants General on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.
He received his commission in 1974 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Southern Methodist University. He has served in numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector and field operating agency levels.
He was a command pilot in the Air Force with more than 4,000 hours, primarily in the T-38, F-106, F-16 and F-15.
He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in business administration at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, in 1974; and received his Master's degree in management and economics, at Webster College, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1979. He completed studies at the National War College, National Defense University, in 1995, earning a degree in National Security Management.
He is currently serving on the following boards:
• Analytic Services, Incorporated – 2012-Present
• Guardian Center – 2012-Present
• National Guard Youth Foundation – 2012-Present
• Our Military Kids Foundation – 2012-Present
• Shattuck School Trustee – 2013-Present
• K-9 for Warriors – 2013-Present
• VAUGHN College – 2014-Present
• Tower Center Program, Southern Methodist University Senior Fellow – 2017-Present
• USAFA Falcon Foundation – 2012-Present
• Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development – 2016-2018
• National Defense University Foundation Board Member – 2016-2018
• National Chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve – 2017-2020