Mr. Thomas Santoro is the Dean of Administration at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Washington DC. He is responsible for budgeting, operations, logistics, and facilities supporting the Eisenhower School’s Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase II and Master of Science in National Resource Strategy graduate degree programs.
Previously, Mr. Santoro served in the United States Air Force for 33 years and retired as a Colonel. In his final military assignment, he served as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs and Assistant Professor for National Security Strategy for the Eisenhower School, and before coming to the Eisenhower School, he served as the Chief, JPME Division, Joint Force Development Directorate (J7), The Joint Staff, at the Pentagon.
Mr. Santoro entered the Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and was subsequently selected to attend undergraduate pilot training. His career includes a variety of assignments as pilot, instructor pilot, and evaluator pilot in the C-130, as well as a staff tour at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where he served as Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group. Mr. Santoro was Commander of the 816th Global Mobility Readiness Squadron (GMRS), McGuire Air Force Base, N.J; the first-ever GMRS in the Air Force. He led the unit from initial to full operational capability. The GMRS enables the Contingency Response Group to open air bases for the warfighting commander, bridging the gap between airfield seizure forces and follow-on combat and expeditionary combat support forces. He has also served at Air Command and Staff College both on the faculty and as the College’s Associate Dean for Operations.
Mr. Santoro is a command pilot with over 2,800 flying hours, primarily in the C-130, including over 150 combat hours. He has served as Deputy Commander, 386th Expeditionary Operations Group, 386th Expeditionary Airlift Wing, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and has also deployed for Operations PROVIDE PROMISE and JOINT ENDEAVOR, as well as other contingency operations. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and other unit and campaign awards.
Mr. Santoro was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Air War College, where he earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He is married with three children.