Lieutenant General Robert Elder (USAF, retired) joined the research faculty at George Mason University following his retirement from the Air Force as the Commander, 8th Air Force. 8th Air Force is the senior Air Force organization at U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) responsible for deterrence and global strike operations, and operates the global command’s Joint Air Operations Center. He also held a position with USSTRATCOM as the joint functional commander responsible for planning and coordinating all nuclear and global strike force activities.
General Elder served as the first commander of Air Force Network Operations and led the development of the cyberspace mission for the Air Force. He also served as the Air operations center commander and deputy air component commander for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His executive experience includes senior leadership positions with the Joint Staff, Air Force staff, and NATO. His international experience includes interactions with senior government representatives in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Pacific, South America, and Africa. General Elder previously served as the Commandant of the Air War College and Vice Commander of Air University. He is an accomplished engineer with avionics software development and program management experience, and holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Detroit.