The Commission

The authorizing legislation for ABMC (36 U.S.C., Chapter 21) specifies that the President will appoint no more than 11 members to the Commission.

On September 28, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his appointment of the following Commissioners to the American Battle Monuments Commission: Darrell L. Dorgan; John L. Estrada; Florent Groberg; Amy Looney Heffernan; Matthew E. Jones; Raymond D. Kemp, Sr.; Bud D. Pettigrew; Michael E. Smith; Gail Berry West; and Daniel P. Woodward. After appointment as a Commissioner, Mark P. Hertling was elected Chairman on Dec. 13, 2021. Charles K. Djou is currently Acting Secretary.

Board of Commissioners

Mark P. Hertling – Chairman

Chairman Mark P. Hertling

Hertling, a resident of Flagler Beach, Fla, served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army. In this AMBC role, Hertling, in concert with the appointed Commissioners, will work to ensure the agency and its efforts continue to fulfill the commitment made by ABMC’s first Chairman, Gen. of the

Read More about Mark P. Hertling – Chairman

Hertling, a resident of Flagler Beach, Fla, served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army. In this AMBC role, Hertling, in concert with the appointed Commissioners, will work to ensure the agency and its efforts continue to fulfill the commitment made by ABMC’s first Chairman, Gen. of the Armies John J. Pershing, that 'time will not dim the glory of their deeds,' to include leading ABMC into its next century of service in 2023.

A native of St, Louis, Missouri, Hertling, served as a tanker and cavalryman, commanding at every level from tank and scout platoon leader on the East-West German border to Commander of U.S. Army, Europe and 7th Army. Hertling saw combat with a cavalry squadron during Desert Storm, as an Assistant Division Commander in Baghdad, and as the Commander of 1st Armored Division and Multinational Task Force Iron in Northern Iraq.

His military awards include multiple Distinguished Service Medals, Legions of Merit, Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and decorations from Germany, Romania, Poland, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

Hertling is a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He holds master’s degrees from Indiana University, the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and the National Defense University, and in 2019 he earned a doctorate from the Crummer School of Business, Rollins College. Hertling is married to his best friend, Sue, and has two sons and five grandsons.

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Gail Berry West – Commissioner

Commissioner West

Gail Berry West is a retired attorney who formerly headed both the Washington Office of Armstrong World Industries and Bell Communications Research. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and received her B.A. in history from Fisk University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She

Read More about Gail Berry West – Commissioner

Gail Berry West is a retired attorney who formerly headed both the Washington Office of Armstrong World Industries and Bell Communications Research. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and received her B.A. in history from Fisk University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She continued her education at the University of Cincinnati receiving her M.A. in History and her J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law.

She began her career as a corporate attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of IBM. She was an appointee of the Carter Administration where she held positions of Special Assistant to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Patricia Roberts Harris; Staff Assistant to the Interdepartmental Task Force on Women under Sarah Weddington; Assistant to President Carter and completed her public service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

She has served on numerous boards during her career including the Arena Stage, WETA, and the Corcoran Museum of Art where she was Secretary of the Board for five years. She served on the Board of the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, on the Board of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Fisher Foundation, the White House Historical Association, Hillwood Museum and Gardens, The Dean’s Council of the National Cathedral and as Vice Regent for the District of Columbia to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

She is the widow of the Honorable Togo D. West, Jr., an attorney and former Secretary of the Army and Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Clinton Administration. She is the mother of two daughters who are also both attorneys.

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Darrell L. Dorgan – Commissioner

Commissioner Dorgan

Darrell Dorgan is a North Dakota native and an award-winning journalist who worked as a television news director/anchor for 25-years. He is married with two daughters and currently chairs Dakom Communications/Dorgan Films, a corporation involved in real estate and producing television

Read More about Darrell L. Dorgan – Commissioner

Darrell Dorgan is a North Dakota native and an award-winning journalist who worked as a television news director/anchor for 25-years. He is married with two daughters and currently chairs Dakom Communications/Dorgan Films, a corporation involved in real estate and producing television documentaries. Dorgan is a Vietnam Veteran who belongs to AMVETS, VFW, DAV, and the American Legion. He was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission for eight years by President Obama and to the Kennedy Center Advisory Board by President Clinton. He has also served on the North Dakota Historical Society Foundation Board for 25-years, as the head of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and chaired the recent North Dakota World War I Centennial Commission.
 

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John L. Estrada – Commissioner

Commissioner Estrada

Ambassador John L. Estrada emigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago at the age of fourteen. He went on to serve 34 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of 15th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. After retirement, he went on to work for Lockheed

Read More about John L. Estrada – Commissioner

Ambassador John L. Estrada emigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago at the age of fourteen. He went on to serve 34 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of 15th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. After retirement, he went on to work for Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Senior Manager for Training Solution Incorporated from 2008 to 2016. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, the country of his birth, from 2016 to 2017. He also served as a volunteer member on the Joe Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the Department of Defense from November 2020 to January 2021. Ambassador Estrada is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Southern Watch. His personal awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is a former board member for Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance for members of the military, those wounded, and the families they leave behind. He is also a former member of the board of governors for the USO, former member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, former member of the Executive Advisory Council for Mission Readiness, and former Commissioner with the American Battle Monuments Commission. Ambassador Estrada is a life time member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Marine Corps League, and the Montford Point Marine Association. He resides in West Palm Beach Florida.
 

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Florent Groberg – Commissioner

Commissioner Groberg

Florent "Flo" Groberg served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2015, and is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military honor, for his extraordinary gallantry, intrepidity and heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012. Today, Groberg leads the

Read More about Florent Groberg – Commissioner

Florent "Flo" Groberg served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2015, and is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military honor, for his extraordinary gallantry, intrepidity and heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012. Today, Groberg leads the Microsoft Azure Global Government M360 Mission Solution Team. He is responsible for working with governments worldwide to identify key missions and systems that should operate on the Azure Cloud. He holds a master's degree in management with a specialization in intelligence policies from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, Md. He is married to Carsen Groberg, with whom he has a dog named V and a cat named Ranger.

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Matthew E. Jones – Commissioner

Commissioner Jones

Col, Matthew E. Jones commands the 89th Airlift Wing, home of Air Force One, where he is responsible for worldwide special air mission airlift, logistics, and communications support for the President, Vice President, cabinet members, combatant commanders, and other senior military and

Read More about Matthew E. Jones – Commissioner

Col, Matthew E. Jones commands the 89th Airlift Wing, home of Air Force One, where he is responsible for worldwide special air mission airlift, logistics, and communications support for the President, Vice President, cabinet members, combatant commanders, and other senior military and elected leaders. A three-time combat airlift commander,  Jones also served in numerous Headquarters, U.S. Air Force and Joint positions including as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Prior to his current assignment Jones was the Installation Commander at Dover AFB, Delaware, home of the Department of Defense’s largest mortuary, fulfilling our nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring Dignity, Honor and Respect to our fallen and Care, Service and Support to their families.

Jones, who is a native of Arizona, resides at Joint Base Andrews, Md. with his family. He is a distinguished graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. degree and has master’s degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Army War College, and the University of Pittsburgh’s KATZ Graduate School of business.

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Raymond D. Kemp Sr. – Commissioner

Commissioner Kemp

Raymond D. Kemp Sr. is a U.S. Navy veteran who culminated 33 years of service as the Fleet Master Chief of Europe and Africa. While on active duty, he served six presidents, completing 11 combat deployments, with 19 years of sea duty. In times of high conflict, he provided training and

Read More about Raymond D. Kemp Sr. – Commissioner

Raymond D. Kemp Sr. is a U.S. Navy veteran who culminated 33 years of service as the Fleet Master Chief of Europe and Africa. While on active duty, he served six presidents, completing 11 combat deployments, with 19 years of sea duty. In times of high conflict, he provided training and mentorship for Sailors during the execution of their lethal duties. As the Fleet Master Chief of Europe and Africa, he had oversight and influence over 56,000 service members, civilians, contractors, and family members. He is the founder of Kemp Solutions LLC, a leadership development and resilience building company. With an ever-present heart for the warrior, he also serves as Vice President on the board of Mystic Warrior Foundation. This organization helps transitioning service members cope with the challenges of PTSD and combat-related stress. Raymond also serves on the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation and Wings Over America boards, which provide scholarships to service members and their families.

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Amy Looney Heffernan – Commissioner

Ever since her late husband, Lt. (SEAL) Brendan Looney was killed in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010, and awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, Amy Looney has served as an inspirational champion for families of fallen service members, military families, veterans, and American troops. Serving

Read More about Amy Looney Heffernan – Commissioner

Ever since her late husband, Lt. (SEAL) Brendan Looney was killed in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010, and awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, Amy Looney has served as an inspirational champion for families of fallen service members, military families, veterans, and American troops. Serving as Vice President of the Travis Manion Foundation, Amy leads a national movement focused on empowering veterans and families of the fallen to foster the next generation of leaders in the mission to unite communities to strengthen America's national character. She is dedicated to carrying on the legacy of her late husband and friend, Travis Manion, who are buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery. A personal tragedy fueled an impassioned advocate to inspire, motivate, and empower individuals, communities, and a nation, to honor the fallen by challenging the living. A consistent voice to the national conversation and advocacy of veterans and families of the fallen, Amy is frequently invited to address national audiences on Fox News, CNN, CBS, TED-X, in written publications such as the Washington Post, and multiple personal appearances spanning the U.S. She is the co-author of the newly released book, The Knock at the Door. Amy received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Johns Hopkins University and her Master’s in Public Administration from George Washington University. She currently resides in the Chicago area with her husband, Joel, daughter, Grace and dog, Payton.

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Bud Pettigrew – Commissioner

Commissioner Pettigrew

Bud Pettigrew is a former U.S. Marine and teacher who has acted as Chair of Chairs of the Nebraska Democratic Party since 2009. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1982-1983, before being medically discharged as a result of a broken neck. Pettigrew taught History and coached football

Read More about Bud Pettigrew – Commissioner

Bud Pettigrew is a former U.S. Marine and teacher who has acted as Chair of Chairs of the Nebraska Democratic Party since 2009. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1982-1983, before being medically discharged as a result of a broken neck. Pettigrew taught History and coached football, wrestling, and track in various Nebraska public schools from 1989 to 2009, then was a project manager at the Minnechaduza Foundation in Valentine, Neb., from 2010-2020. The Foundation develops and supports scientific, clinical, and community initiatives that support improved health of Great Plains dwellers, while promoting and preserving their unique cultural and historical values. He is a three-time Morrison-Exon Award winner for the Nebraska Democratic Party, was a 2012 Nebraska national delegate for President Obama, and a 2020 Nebraska national delegate and whip captain for President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Pettigrew holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Social Science Education from Hastings College, Hastings, Neb., and did graduate work in History at Wayne State College. He and his wife Angela have two sons, Arthur and Evan.

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Michael E. Smith – Commissioner

Commissioner Smith

Michael E. Smith is a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who recently co-founded and led the American College of National Security Leaders, a national security think tank committed to strengthening the United States' national security initiatives by informing the debate, influencing decision

Read More about Michael E. Smith – Commissioner

Michael E. Smith is a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who recently co-founded and led the American College of National Security Leaders, a national security think tank committed to strengthening the United States' national security initiatives by informing the debate, influencing decision-makers, and educating the public. During his 32-year naval career he commanded at all operational levels from the commanding officer of the Navy’s newest destroyer to command of an aircraft carrier strike group.

He served as the Special Assistant to two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where his team conducted independent research and provided unfiltered direct advice on the most strategic and pressing national security topics. In his first flag officer assignment he was the director of the Navy’s Strategy and Policy Division, where he oversaw a broad Pentagon, legislative, and Navy-wide portfolio, including responsibility for integrating emerging national strategy with Navy and Defense policy initiatives. Smith is currently an Adjunct Research Associate for the Institute for Defense Analysis, where he leads a diverse international team facilitating defense transformation efforts through in-country advisory and consulting services to the most senior Indonesian military and government officials. He also Chairs the Board of MVLE, a dynamic non-profit that caters to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities through specialized services that foster personal and professional growth.

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Daniel P. Woodward – Commissioner

Commissioner Woodward

Daniel P. Woodward retired from the U.S. Air Force as a brigadier general, following more than 28 years of distinguished service. While in the Air Force, Woodward served in a variety of operational and staff positions, including tours as a Wing Commander and as a flag officer on the Joint

Read More about Daniel P. Woodward – Commissioner

Daniel P. Woodward retired from the U.S. Air Force as a brigadier general, following more than 28 years of distinguished service. While in the Air Force, Woodward served in a variety of operational and staff positions, including tours as a Wing Commander and as a flag officer on the Joint Staff and the Air Staff. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 military flight hours and is married to his college sweetheart, retired U.S. Air Force Major General Maggie Woodward. Following retirement from the Air Force, Woodward served as vice president, Integrated Solutions, General Dynamics Information Technology. After leaving his position with General Dynamics, he became Executive Director of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings, a nationwide collegiate nonprofit that builds young military and civilian servant leaders through the lessons found in community service, unique professional development experiences, and education. He continues to serve in this position as well as a Planning Commissioner for Placer County California.

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Previous Commissioners

Donald J. Trump Administration 2017-2021

  • David John Urban (Chairman)
  • Jennifer S. Carroll
  • Benjamin L. Cassidy
  • Dorothy Gray
  • Thomas O. Hicks
  • John P. McGoff
  • Robert L. Ord
  • Luis Rodolfo Quinonez
  • Evans C. Spiceland
  • Robert O. Wefald

Barack H. Obama Administration 2009-2017

  • Merrill A. McPeak (Chairman)
  • Cindy Campbell
  • Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
  • Darrell Dorgan
  • Larry R. Ellis
  • John L. Estrada
  • Lisa A. Hallett
  • Jerry MacArthur Hultin
  • Rolland Kidder
  • Richard L. Klass
  • Thomas R. Lamont
  • Constance Morella
  • Ike Skelton
  • Maura C. Sullivan

George W. Bush Administration 2001-2009

  • P. X. Kelley (Chairman until 2005)
  • Frederick M. Franks (Chairman beginning in 2005) 
  • Julius W. Becton, Jr.  
  • Patrick H. Brady
  • Leslie G. Baker  
  • Chester L. Berryhill, Jr. 
  • Donald T. Bollinger  
  • James B. Culbertson     
  • James B. Francis 
  • Frederick M. Franks
  • Jerry L. Laws
  • Antonio Lopez
  • Zell B. Miller 
  • Thomas E. Morris 
  • Carol A. Mutter  
  • Joseph E. Persico
  • James M. Reynolds, III   
  • Sara A. Sellers  
  • Alan K. Simpson
  • Will Hill Tankersley  
  • Sue Ellen Turner  

William J. Clinton Administration 1993-2001

  • P. X. Kelley (Chairman until 1994)
  • Frederick F. Woerner, Jr. (Chairman beginning in 1994)
  • Francis J. Bagnell 
  • William P. Campbell  
  • Hugh L. Carey   
  • Aubrey O. Cookman
  • Evelyn P. Foote
  • Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon    
  • Jack O. Guy
  • Steve M. Hilton
  • Rolland F. Kidder  
  • Douglas Kinnard
  • Robert C. Laughter  
  • Alfred S. Los Banos
  • Thomas G. Lyons 
  • John C. McDonald
  • Ned R. McWherter
  • Brenda L. Moore  
  • Frank B. Moore  
  • Ronald D. Ray
  • Gail H. Reals
  • Ed L. Romero     
  • Mark V. Rosenker
  • Peter W. Senopoulos 
  • William G. Simpson  
  • David H. Sudderth
  • William M. Wardlaw
  • F. Haydn Williams 

George H.W. Bush Administration 1989-1993

  • Andrew J. Goodpaster (Chairman until 1990)  
  • P. X. Kelley (Chairman beginning in 1990)  
  • Francis J. Bagnell 
  • Kitty D. Bradley
  • William P. Campbell  
  • Aubrey O. Cookman
  • Jack O. Guy
  • Robert C. Laughter
  • Preston H. Long
  • Armistead J. Maupin
  • John C. McDonald   
  • Freda J. Poundstone  
  • Ronald D. Ray
  • Mark V. Rosenker   
  • Peter W. Senopoulos 
  • David H. Sudderth      

Ronald Reagan Administration 1981-1989

  • Mark W. Clark (Chairman until 1984)  
  • Andrew J. Goodpaster (Chairman beginning in 1985)  
  • Francis J. Bagnell 
  • Edwin Bliss Wheeler
  • Kitty D. Bradley
  • Joseph W. Canzeri  
  • Aubrey O. Cookman
  • Redford C. Early
  • William E. Hickey
  • Preston H. Long
  • Armistead J. Maupin
  • John C. McDonald
  • Freda J. Poundstone  
  • Lawrence A. Wright     

James Carter Administration 1977-1981

  • Mark W. Clark (Chairman)   
  • Gerhard D. Bleicken
  • Leslie H. Fry
  • Fred C. Bramlage 
  • William G. Bray  
  • Alfred P. Chamie  
  • Benjamin 0. Davis, Jr. 
  • William C. Garrison     
  • T. Harry Gatton 
  • James H. Gavin 
  • Anna Mae Hays
  • James L. Holloway III  
  • Harold A. Horn  
  • Oliver E. Meadows  
  • John M. Pope  
  • Charles E. Potter
  • Harvey A. Roffman 
  • Richard J. Vander Platt 
  • Louis H. Wilson 

Gerald R. Ford Administration 1974-1977

  • Mark W. Clark (Chairman)  
  • Gerhard D. Bleicken
  • Fred C. Bramlage
  • William G. Bray
  • Alfred P. Chamie
  • Leslie H. Fry   
  • William C. Garrison  
  • Leslie E. Gehres
  • Harold A. Horn  
  • Charles E. Potter     
  • Harvey A. Roffman
  • Richard J. Vander Platt

Richard M. Nixon Administration 1969-1974

  • Mark W. Clark (Chairman)   
  • Gerhard D. Bleicken
  • Fred C. Bramlage 
  • Alfred P. Chamie
  • T. C. Connell
  • Leslie H. Fry
  • William C. Garrison  
  • Leslie E. Gehres
  • Harold A. Horn
  • Edward F. McGinnis
  • Harry J. Middleton, Jr.
  • Charles E. Potter  
  • Harvey A. Roffman 
  • Carl Spaatz
  • Richard J. Vander Platt 
  • Clinton F. Wheeler   

Lyndon B. Johnson Administration 1963-1969

  • Jacob L. Devers (Chairman)  
  • Leslie L. Biffle
  • T. C. Connell
  • Joseph C. Duke 
  • T. Harry Gatton
  • Felton M. Johnston  
  • Thomas C. Kinkaid   
  • Edward F. McGinnis
  • Harry J. Middleton, Jr.   
  • Mrs. Charles G. Peters
  • Charles E. Potter  
  • Sidney Salomon, Jr.
  • Carl Spaatz 
  • Alexander A. Vandergrift
  • Austin T. Walden     

John F. Kennedy Administration 1961-1963

  • Jacob L. Devers (Chairman)  
  • Leslie L. Biffle      
  • Joseph C. Duke 
  • T. Harry Gatton
  • Thomas C. Kinkaid
  • Charles E. Potter  
  • Mrs. Charles G. Peters
  • Sidney Salomon, Jr.
  • Carl Spaatz 
  • Alexander A. Vandergrift
  • Austin T. Walden  

Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration 1953-1961

  • George C. Marshall (Chairman until 1959)
  • Jacob L. Devers (Chairman beginning in 1960)
  • Leslie L. Biffle
  • Benjamin 0. Davis    
  • Joseph J. Foss  
  • Forest A. Harness  
  • Thomas C. Kinkaid   
  • Edward F. McGinnis
  • John Phillips 
  • Charles E. Potter
  • Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt 
  • Carl Spaatz    
  • Alexander A. Vandergrift
  • Mrs. Wendell L. Wilkie

Harry S. Truman Administration 1945-1953

  • John J. Pershing (Chairman until 1948)
  • George C. Marshall (Chairman beginning in 1949)  
  • Joseph C. Baldwin  
  • Leslie L. Biffle
  • Mrs. Henry Fenimore Baker   
  • Finis J. Garrett
  • Edward C. Kalbfus     
  • Harold A. Keats    
  • Dr. John Markey
  • Burnet R. Maybank
  • David A. Reed
  • Alexander A. Vandergrift
  • Robert G. Woodside   

Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration 1933-1945

  • John J. Pershing (Chairman)  
  • Leslie L. Biffle   
  • J.P. B. Clayton Hill 
  • Mrs. Henry Fenimore Baker
  • Finis J. Garrett
  • Dr. John Markey      
  • David A. Reed
  • Robert G. Woodside

Herbert Hoover Administration 1929-1933

  • John J. Pershing (Chairman)     
  • J.P. B. Clayton Hill 
  • Mrs. Henry Fenimore Baker
  • Finis J. Garrett
  • Dr. John Markey
  • David A. Reed   
  • Robert G. Woodside

Calvin Coolidge Administration 1923-1929

  • John J. Pershing (Chairman)     
  • Mrs. Frederick W. Bentley
  • J.P.B. Clayton Hill
  • Finis J. Garrett
  • Dr. John Markey
  • Thomas W. Miller  
  • David A. Reed   
  • Robert G. Woodside