Dr. James Lepse

Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs


Dr. James L. Lepse currently serves as Professor of Logistics and Acting Dean of Faculty and Academic Planning at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Washington, DC.  As the Associate Dean, he is the Dean of Faculty’s primary deputy on a variety of issues related to curriculum and faculty matters, including ensuring the integration, balance, and currency of the curriculum as it is executed by the academic departments and faculty. 

During his tenure at the Eisenhower School, Dr. Lepse has taught several different courses related to national security and resource strategy, and has been engaged in the full spectrum of curriculum design, development, execution, and evaluation.  Additionally, he has served for more than nine (9) years in several key Eisenhower School leadership positions, including leading in three (3) different academic departments.  Immediately prior to assuming his current position as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Planning in October 2016, Dr. Lepse served as the Chair of the Defense Strategy, Acquisition, and Resourcing (DSAR) Department.  Given his leadership experience and familiarity with curriculum in both the former Acquisition (ACQ) and Military Strategy & Logistics (MSL) departments, he was selected to serve as the Chair of the DSAR Department when it was established in May 2014.  In addition to leading academic departments, Dr. Lepse has also previously served as the Director of the Supply Chain Management Concentration and the Faculty Leader for both the Electronics and Agribusiness Industry Studies.   

After graduating from Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1981.  His initial sea duty assignment was aboard the USS GOLDSBOROUGH (DDG 20), and he had subsequent sea duty assignments aboard USS GARY (FFG 51) and USS HALEAKALA (AE 25).  Dr. Lepse’s final sea tour was aboard USS WASP (LHD 1), where he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).  While serving afloat, he made deployments to the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and Western Pacific areas.  Besides serving in several U.S. Navy assignments ashore, his Joint duty assignments included the Joint Staff (J-4), the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF).

After retiring from active duty in August 2008 at the rank of Captain, Dr. Lepse worked as a federal civil servant in both the DOD Business Transformation Agency (BTA) and DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  He re-joined the ICAF faculty in January 2010 as an Associate Professor of Logistics. 

Dr. Lepse’s graduate education includes a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Administration/Public Affairs from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, a Master of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). Additionally, he has completed executive education programs at several business schools, including: Harvard Business School, Columbia University, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the University of North Carolina. 

His military awards and decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards), Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (2 awards), and various unit awards.  In addition to being a designated Joint Qualified Officer (JQO), he earned his warfare qualification as a Surface Warfare Officer.  Dr. Lepse is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and has achieved Level III acquisition certifications in both Program Management and Information Technology.