NDIA’s McKinley Honored with Defense Acquisition University’s Acker Award

Craig McKinley, left, former NDIA president and CEO, accepts the 2017 Acker Award from John Woolsey, president of Defense Acquisition University, during ceremonies Thursday, June 15, at Fort Belvoir, VA.

ARLINGTON, VA – Retired Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the retiring president and chief executive officer of the National Defense Industrial Association, accepted the 2017 David D. Acker “Skill in Communication” Award Thursday, June 15, from the Defense Acquisition University.

University President John Woolsey gave McKinley the award during the Hall of Fame Ceremony at the university at Fort Belvoir, VA.

McKinley’s affective and steadfast communications with the defense acquisition workforce helped “to stimulate critical thinking and improve their education and training experience,” as well as advance policies that streamline acquisitions that helped meet national security needs, according to the Defense Acquisition University, whose alumni association annually gives the award.

McKinley, who stepped down Thursday, June 15, after more than two years at the helm of NDIA, was chosen for the award for “his outstanding leadership in bringing together industry and government personnel to address national security issues” and for “his tireless dedication to meeting the needs of our national security community.”

He became leader of NDIA in 2015. During his time there, McKinley led development of a new strategic direction and improved the group’s relationships with industry stakeholders and government officials. He laid a foundation for NDIA to continue to be a leading platform for leaders in government, industry, and academia to collaborate to advance national security and defense.

McKinley, a 38-year-veteran of the Air Force, retired as the first four-star Chief of the 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, secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. He was the Defense Department’s official channel of communications to governors and to state adjutants general on all National Guard matters.