Aubrey Vance Renfroe is owner, President and CEO of Renfroe Associates International, founding the company after a distinguished military career. His clients include Armor Holdings Inc., Kohler, ADTRAN, New Heights Manufacturing/Sky Watch, Advanced Interactive Systems, Digital Infrared Imaging, and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.
Renfroe Associates International has offices in Doha-Qatar, where their major partner for Middle East business development is Sheikh Khalifa bin Fahad bin Mohammad Al-Thani, owner of KBF Trading & Contracting. Renfroe is engaged in oil and gas development, luxury hotel and resort development, security and communications initiatives, new business development and marketing, among other endeavors in the Middle East and Asia. Renfroe has also worked on partnerships for new university and teaching hospital creation in India and the Arabian Gulf region.
Renfroe is also president of a think tank in Washington DC, the Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies. His most recent project, The Sanctuary, has drawn praise and support in Israel and in the Arab world. This advanced studies institute planned for development in Doha will be a senior leader incubator for promising Arab and Israeli executives and political leadership that will help establish constructive personal and professional relationships and require substantive work toward solving critical problems of the Middle East.
Renfroe will be awarded the Doctor of Education degree from The George Washington University in 2006. His doctoral program has established him as a Research Fellow at The George Washington University as he writes his dissertation on senior leader recommendations for what universities should do now to improve security of the American homeland. He holds degrees in Religion (BA, Louisiana College, 1969), Political Science (emphasis area for MGS, Arkansas State University, 1977), International Relations (MA, Salve Regina University, 1985), and National Security and Strategic Studies (MA, College of Naval Warfare, 1991), and has two years of theology study at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary toward the Master of Divinity degree (1977-1979). Attending Air Command and Staff College as a Captain in 1979-1980, he also became the first Air National Guard Officer to attend the prestigious Naval War College in residence (1984-1985, the Centennial Year).
During his 27-year military career Colonel Renfroe, a command pilot and instructor pilot evaluator, logged about 5000 civilian and military flying hours, 500 in combat, and has served in nine national-level Pentagon jobs of increasing complexity and responsibility. He had three tours in Southeast Asia and flew air refueling support during the Grenada Liberation Campaign. Renfroe was director of Operations and Programs for the Air National Guard during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, touring the US after the war to tell of the Air operations and successes of the conflict.
Colonel Renfroe has been Director of Operations and Programs for the organization rated among the giants on the Fortune 500 list with its greater than $7.0 billion annual program — the Air National Guard, the 5th largest air force in the world. His leadership helped the Guard modernize into F-16, F-15, B-1, and strategic airlift missions, and grow from 85 flying unites to 93. He was also responsible for modernization of the KC-135 tanker, C-130, close air support, rescue, tactical air control, fighter, air defense, and support airlift fleets. He worked with operational experts to create the first Tactical Air Control Party units in the US. Renfroe developed the first 7-year program for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account, establishing a formal annual process for managing this essential program.
Colonel Renfroe’s international vision has been a creative force. He established the first National Guard Office of International Affairs in 1989 to organize Air National Guard international aircrew training programs and began mapping the strategy that is carrying the United States into partnership with newly independent states and emerging democracies worldwide.
Renfroe and his Army National Guard colleague, Dr/Colonel Wayne Gosnell, outlined a plan for bringing stability into the volatile post-Soviet world while expanding United States strategic advantage. They created the National Guard State Partnership Program to link the citizens and soldiers of the US with their counterparts behind the collapsed remains of the Iron Curtain. The program has become one of the most important elements of US engagement around the world and was the precursor to Partnership for Peace.
In 1991 Renfroe received a “by name” assignment as the first Special Assistant to the Commander In Chief, United States European Command, near Stuttgart, Germany, where, in 1992, he became the first Senior Reserve Forces Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. His mission for the Commander was to increase Guard and Reserve participation in US missions in Europe, especially in the Former Soviet Union and other newly independent states. Renfroe established the Directorate of Reserve Affairs (USEUCOM/ECRA) and secured international approval for the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, working with the first presidents and cabinet officers of the post-Soviet era in New Europe. A frequent speaker and panel participant, Colonel Renfroe worked as the US government representative on NATO teams tasked to help Baltic, Central and Eastern European states develop their national security concepts.
In 1994, Colonel Renfroe returned to the Pentagon to become first Director of International Affairs for the National Guard, with a combined Army and Air membership of nearly 500,000 and an annual budget of more than $20 billion. He encouraged the National Guard’s peacetime engagement abroad by expanding his State Partnership Program to 26 nations on 4 continents and by creating the Minuteman Fellows Program to provide mid-level international leaders a mentoring experience in the USA.
In January 1996, Renfroe developed and served as Executive Director for the White House-George Washington University Marshall Legacy Symposium, an historic event that brought 45 nations together in Washington DC for the first time to discuss partnerships for peace, prosperity and democracy.The decisions taken at this conference established US presence in unlikely underdeveloped countries such as Uzbekistan. The National Guard State Partnership Program is a critical asset in the Global War on Terrorism.
After his retirement from the military in October of 1996, Renfroe continued to write and speak on the issues that had been the backbone of his late military career. In February 1999, for example, he was invited by the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation to address the Regional Governors in Pskov, the hotbed of Russian radical nationalism, on creating and nurturing democratic institutions. He also observed the first Russian presidential election process and had substantive discussions with leaders in Moscow and St Petersburg, where he laid the first NATO wreath honoring the dead from the Siege of Leningrad during World War II.
Renfroe’s public service activity is focused. The Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies (MINDS) at One Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington DC is a not-for-profit company playing an important role in national security policy development. MINDS also conducts writing programs with cash and publication awards, hosts seminars and round tables on important issues of the day, and has a monthly Minuteman Keynote Speaker series that presents national leaders on hot issues with the intent of informing the US policy development process through an academically sound presentation with groups of about 100 key leaders. Another important role for MINDS has been to provide expert analysis and written position statements to Congress, including working with congressional staff to craft legislations at the request of senior
leadership. Most recently, MINDS has sponsored a series of Base Realignment and Closure panels in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation.
Renfroe has led international round tables on Coalition Warfare at the National Press Club in Washington (2003) and on Transformation and the War in Iraq in San Diego (2004), both events in collaboration with a large international community. Renfroe appeared live as a guest on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on July 7, 2004, addressing national policy options for the future of the national Guard of the United States and the federal reserves of the United States military.
Renfroe is a Senior Associate in the Hudson Institute Program on Transitions to Democracy, having served along side the program’s director and founder, Dr. Constantine Menges, until his untimely death in 2004. Renfroe is on the board established to continue the work of this and other Menges endeavors. Colonel Renfroe first became a Senior Associate in the Program on Transitions to Democracy while this unique program was in The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.
Two other noteworthy Renfroe achievements include founding Youth Enrichment Services (YES), Inc., in 1977, and co-founding the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association in 1991.
Renfroe has received many United States and foreign military decorations for combat and outstanding service. He was given the first Department of Defense—George Washington University Joint Outstanding Leadership Award in 1996. In addition, he is a Distinguished Alumnus of Louisiana College, and a member of Who’s Who International and Millennium Who’s Who. His publications and works published or in progress include A Blueprint for Civil-Military Cooperation (monograph, various, NATO and others), Russia and a New World Order: The Next Chapter (monograph, 1989), “United, We Stand” a chapter in Partnerships for Peace, Democracy and Prosperity (University Press, 1996), and “Have you been there yet today?” from Vital Speeches, Aug. 1991. He was editor and wrote the Foreword for The Foundation and Development of the National Guard Bureau: A Primer published by MINDS with support from Booz Allen Hamilton in 2003. He was a writing member of the Alpha Literary and Philosophical Society. In 2004, he co-authored a book chapter “The National Guard and Total Force Policy” with Dr. Michael Doubler in the centennial celebration of the Dick Act of 1903. In 2003, Renfroe wrote a lengthy manuscript on the evolution of the National Guard relationship to the federal military. His many articles and ghost writings have appeared in various publications.
Renfroe’s most recent research outside the areas of religion and national security affairs has been in outcomes assessment for higher education. He has researched and written extensively in the area of faculty-administration relationships as part of this work. With his wife, Dr. Anita L. Renfroe, Artist-Professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at The Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Colonel Renfroe has been a featured presenter for the Music Teachers National Association 2001 Convention in Washington DC on their continuing study of student preparation behaviors and outcomes assessment. Their work had been critical in helping departments meet National Association of Schools of Music accreditation requirements, but also in helping develop a model for the combination of quantitative and qualitative self and institutional measurements for improving student scholarship and performance over time. He and Dr. Renfroe have two children and three grandchildren.