Dr. Jill Rough ’96

Greater Washington, DC Chapter Trustee

A 1996 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Jill A. Rough has over 25 years of experience in national security and defense-related policy and practice. Upon commissioning as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, she served seven years as an active-duty Surface Warfare Officer. Her sea tours included the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) in Yokosuka, Japan, and Amphibious Squadron SEVEN embarked aboard USS BOXER (LHD-4) in San Diego, CA. She also served as a military fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses in Arlington, VA. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon, she was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations Strategy and Policy Division (OPNAV N51) to help reconstitute the division after the tragic loss of many of its personnel.

In 2003, Dr. Rough transitioned to the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer. She has served as a Commanding Officer for five reserve units supporting a variety of organizations, including U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. European Command, the Office of Naval Intelligence, CNO Intelligence (N2N6), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. From 2012-2013, she was recalled to active duty in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, serving as Production Manager of the Combined Joint Intelligence Operations Center – Afghanistan in Kabul. She is currently a Captain in the Navy Reserves and serves as Deputy Regional Commander of the Naval Information Force Reserve Region Washington, DC.

As a civilian, Dr. Rough has worked as a national security and defense intern on Capitol Hill; a research assistant at RAND Corporation; and a graduate research assistant with the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center examining WMD smuggling, human trafficking, and organized crime. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of Army National Guard mobilizations on public support for the War on Terror. From December 2017 to July 2020, Dr. Rough served as the Director of Research and Analysis for the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, an organization charged with providing recommendations to Congress and the President on the military selective service process (known as the ‘draft’) and ways to increase military, national, and public service.

Dr. Rough is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University where she teaches advanced qualitative methods, program evaluation, leadership, and public speaking. Her academic research focuses on civil-military relations and military personnel policies, specifically active-reserve integration and issues related to women in the military.

Dr. Rough holds a Ph.D. in public policy from George Mason University, a MA in international affairs from George Washington University, JPME I diploma from the Naval War College, JPME II certificate from the Joint Forces Staff College, and a BS in political science from the U.S. Naval Academy. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.