Lt. Col. Ashworth named new vice president for communications and marketing
The top U.S. Air Force external communications leader will join The Citadel as the new vice president for communications and marketing in mid-July. Lieutenant Colonel William Brett Ashworth becomes a member of the college's team of vice presidents after stepping down from his position as Chief of Air Force Media Operations at the Pentagon. He currently serves as principal spokesperson for global and defense industry media as well as an advisor and strategist to top Air Force commanders.
Ashworth has 21 years of experience in military public affairs including an assignment from 2006 – 2010 as director of public affairs at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
"Brett Ashworth comes to The Citadel with an impressive background in communications and marketing. His work in public affairs in the military and at the Air Force Academy gives him the ideal blend of experience to help The Citadel move ahead with strategic initiatives while also enhancing our relationships with all constituencies," said Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, President of The Citadel.
In addition to his current assignment at the Pentagon, Ashworth commanded the 344th Recruiting Squadron in Arlington, Texas, where he led a squadron of eight flights and 102 people covering a four-state area. He served as chief of public affairs at the 509th Bomb Wing during Operations Allied Force and Enduring Freedom where he was spokesperson to national and international media on the B-2's first-ever use in combat and support of overseas contingency operations. He has deployed twice since 9/11, to Afghanistan as strategic communication advisor to the Afghan government and to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia where he coordinated Air Force public affairs for the Central Command area of operations.
Ashworth is a 1993 distinguished graduate of the Southwest Texas State University Reserve Officer Training Corps program where he earned a degree in journalism. In 2006 he obtained an M.A. in Integrated Strategic Leadership from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB. He earned an M.B.A. from Webster University in 2000. Additionally, Ashworth completed Squadron Officer School (1998), Air Command and Staff College (2004) and Air War College (2010).
His military awards and decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal.
The Citadel's Board of Visitors recently changed the name of the college's marketing function from The Office of External Affairs to the Office of Communications and Marketing to better reflect the services provided by that unit. The position of vice president for communications and marketing is responsible for strategically communicating the college's institutional priorities and overseeing the college's internal and external communications, media relations, public relations, and marketing functions while working closely with The Citadel Alumni Association, The Citadel Foundation and The Citadel Brigadier Foundation.
Ashworth was among more than 75 applicants and three finalists for the position. He replaces Citadel communications professor Patricia McArver who has served as interim vice president after the departure of Jeffrey Perez in early 2014. Perez joined Winthrop University as public affairs strategist and communications advisor to the president.
Ashworth will bring his family of five to live in Charleston. He and his wife Katy are the parents of 11-year-old triplets: Drew, Kara and Libby.