Lieutenant General John W. Rosa, USAF, Ret (2006-2018)
Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa became the 19th president of The Citadel on January 3, 2006. He returned to his alma mater after serving as superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
An alumnus, highly decorated pilot, three-star general, and parent of a graduate, Rosa brings extensive experience in leadership, education and public service to The Citadel.
Under Rosa’s leadership, The Citadel remains focused on its mission to educate and develop principled leaders for the military, private enterprise, and public institutions. For the seventh year in a row, U.S. News and World Report ranked The Citadel the #1 college in the South among its peers. The Citadel will also conclude an historic $175 million capital campaign in conjunction with its LEAD 2018 strategic plan in May 2018.
Commissioned in the United States Air Force upon graduation, Rosa is a command-rated fighter pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours, including a tour as an exchange pilot with the Royal Air Force.
Rosa commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels in South Korea, Idaho, South Carolina, New Mexico and Georgia. He served as inspector general for Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii and as commandant of the Air Command and Staff College in Alabama.
As deputy director for operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., he led the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon, including during the September 11 attacks and served as spokesman for the Joint Chiefs as U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. In July 2003, he was named superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He retired from active duty in November 2005.
Rosa graduated from The Citadel in 1973 with a degree in Business Administration. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. He is a graduate of the Air Force Command and Staff College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He has studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the College of Charleston in 2007.
His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He has flown the A-7, A-10, Hunter, Jaguar, F-16, F-117A, HH-60G and HC-130 aircraft.
He is married to Donna Kangeter, a Charleston native. They have two sons, Jonathan and Brad (The Citadel Class of 2003), and three grandchildren.