The World War II Foundation has tapped retired Marine Major General Andrew (Drew) B. Davis as its CEO. Davis will focus on advancing the nonprofit’s mission to educate and inspire current and future generations about the compelling war stories of the Greatest Generation.
Davis’ military, business and nonprofit management experience will bolster the World War II Foundation’s aim to increase its awareness nationally and to expand its mission globally.
“I am deeply honored by my selection as CEO of the World War II Foundation and believe the opportunities ahead for the Foundation are extremely exciting,” Davis said. “I will make it my top priority to oversee the Foundation’s continued progress and to keep alive the powerful voices of the Greatest Generation, men and women who served our country so selflessly and courageously during World War II.”
The Washington, DC-based World War II Foundation travels the world capturing poignant stories through award-winning documentary films shot on location in Europe and the Pacific. To date, the Foundation has produced 19 award-winning documentaries that air on PBS stations worldwide and are viewed by millions each year.
These documentaries continually rank in the top five of the most nationally requested films by PBS affiliates and are donated to schools and libraries nationwide. The films have garnered numerous accolades, including five New England Emmy Awards, two Indie International Film Fest Awards and the American Public Television National Programming Excellence Award in 2013. The films and WWII Foundation initiatives have also been featured on national media outlets such as CNN, ESPN, CBS Morning News, Stars and Stripes and the Associated Press.
Documentaries have included “World War II: Saving the Reality,” narrated by Dan Aykroyd; “D-Day: Over Normandy,” narrated by Bill Belichick; “Remember Pearl Harbor,” narrated by Tom Selleck; and “Journey Home to the USS Arizona,” narrated by Matthew Broderick.
“The appointment of General Davis represents a major stepping stone for our organization and provides us with tremendous momentum going forward,” said World War II Foundation founder Tim Gray. “We considered over 100 candidates for this position, and resolutely believe that Drew’s rich military background, his respect as a leader and his belief in the merits and importance of the Foundation will benefit us immensely.”
Gray added: “The Foundation needs continued financial support to have more of our films made. Each day, we’re losing nearly 600 World War II veterans, so time is of the essence. We are deeply grateful for the support we have received since our Foundation was founded in 2011. Our Foundation feels called to continue to tell these stories.”
Davis retired from the Marine Corps in 2008 after a 38-year military career, including tours in the Vietnam War as well as the Gulf War. He was commissioned as a Marine officer in 1970 following graduation from Princeton University.
During his career, Davis served as an infantry officer and commanded at every level from platoon to force. His Marine Reserve infantry battalion was activated for Operation Desert Storm in 1990, and deployed to the Philippines where it became the first Reserve battalion to qualify as special operations capable and conducted the relief of the Subic Bay naval base during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
Davis was promoted to brigadier general in 2000, and served as the director of Marine Corps Public Affairs at the Pentagon from 2001 to 2003. In this role, he led the development of the embedding program for frontline journalists in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Davis was promoted to major general in January 2006.
Subsequently, Davis commanded U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa from 2005 to 2007, and the Marine Corps Mobilization Command until his retirement in 2008. His decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy-Maritime Commendation Medal.
In addition to his military service, Davis worked in the newspaper industry as a reporter, editor, publisher and educator. He was also group publisher of Pioneer Press Newspaper and president of Chicago Sun-Times Features, Inc., and served in various leadership positions at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center, the American Press Institute, the Reserve Officers Association of the U.S. and the Capstone-Keystone-Pinnacle program at the National Defense University.
Davis is married to Margaret Bergan Davis, president and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has two children. He and his wife reside in Annapolis, Md., and are avid cruising and racing sailors.