2013 Commencement Speaker

Gen. Julie A. Bentz portrait photo


Oregon National Guard Major General Julie A. Bentz, who received an ROTC commission and two bachelor's degrees from Oregon State University, has risen to the top of her field as Director of Strategic Capabilities Policy on the National Security Staff at the White House.

Bentz is the first female officer from the Oregon National Guard to achieve the rank of general. She was recently promoted to major general and services on the National Security Staff in the Executive Office of the President as the Director of Strategic Capabilities Policy. She is responsible for writing presidential policy, coordinating interagency dialogue, informing presidential budgetary decisions and building consensus on interagency initiatives and programs that develop U.S. strategic capabilities to meet 2l't -century requirements.

Bentz has served in a variety of active -duty, reserve and National Guard positions in nuclear defense, homeland security, health physics and environmental sciences, as well as in traditional nuclear, biological and chemical officer assignments. She also spent four years as a missionary in Europe and Africa while working as an Army Reserve officer. Bentz received the Legion of Merit medal for her work on the Homeland Security Council. She also helped coordinate the U.S. response to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Bentz grew up near the unincorporated town of Jordan, Oregon, and was awarded a national ROTC scholarship that allowed her to attend any of more than 200 universities in the country. She chose Oregon State, earning bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees in radiological health and an Army ROTC commission in 1986. Bentz later earned a master's degree in health physics and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri, and another master's degree in national security strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. She was inducted into the Oregon State University College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2012.