Gerald O’Keefe, former Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Board Vice Chairman, has recently assumed the role of Chairman and CEO – following the retirement of previous Chairman, Judy Legerski, this year. Legerski had been a member of the Board since the organization’s privatization in 1996 and led as Chairman/CEO for over a decade.
Mr. O’Keefe’s occupancy of the position officially began in September 2022. During his tenure, he plans to leverage the ideas and talent of both the workforce and the Board to build on the many successes of the organization. He is open to exploring modern, innovative approaches where it may benefit the organization, while staying true to the core mission and values that have defined CMP over its 26-year history.
“I’ve set a number of priorities for both my roles as the Chairman and CEO, but at a more strategic level, what I’d really like to do is simply to continue to further the CMP’s core mission of promoting marksmanship,” he said. “And with that, to set the standard for training, marksmanship safety and getting more youth into the sport – teaching them marksmanship fundamentals and safety.”
O’Keefe joined the CMP Board of Directors in September 2019 following a prominent government career. A West Point graduate, he served 27 years of active duty before transitioning into a Department of the Army Senior Executive. He culminated his government service as the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, a historical position, as well as the Senior Career Civilian in the Army.
There, he was responsible for a wide array of strategic engagements and portfolios, to include liaison to the CMP. Close contact to the organization allowed him to learn more about its mission and the details of the legislation that connects the Army and the CMP. At the same time, he managed the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) program and saw the synergy between the CMP and the CASAs.
“It was an interesting intersection between two important programs,” O’Keefe said as he recognized the value of the mutual support.
Once he left government work in 2018, he served as a Director at Grant Thornton, a leading consulting firm. It gave him an opportunity to experience the standards and protocols of industry in profit structures and how to support government clients as an industry partner. However, he missed the closer connection to the Army and wanted to find a way to make more of a difference. O’Keefe thought back to his prior relationship with the CMP as well as the organization’s important objectives. He felt the time was right to join its cause by bringing his own knowledge and experience to the team.
“The CMP Board is comprised of great professionals who care about the mission of the organization and the staff that makes it all happen. It was a great opportunity,” he said of his decision to join the company.
O’Keefe’s other credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Engineering in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Penn State University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Moreover, Mr. O’Keefe maintains a professional engineer license from the state of Virginia, where he lives with his family. Outside of work, he enjoys shooting, golf, running, and spending time with family.
“I certainly hope that the very diverse set of leadership and business experiences over the years will translate well as I move into this position,” he said. “I’ve inherited a fantastic organization and thank the staff and the members of the Board who’ve put the CMP in such a great position.”
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.
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