Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
General David Goldfein served a 37-year career as a pilot in the United States Air Force (USAF), where he commanded at every level and finished his career as the 21st Chief of Staff of the Air Force. During his time as Chief, General Goldfein developed and championed the Department of Defense’s signature joint warfighting initiative, Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2). Central to his vision was the creation of the Department’s first Information Warfare Command, which brought together the capabilities of Cyber, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Information Operations. He also developed and executed the largest overhaul of the officer development and promotion system in the Air Force in over thirty years.
Prior to serving as the USAF Chief of Staff, he was the USAF Vice Chief of Staff, the second highest-ranking officer, where he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group, advising on high-interest acquisitions, and assessing joint military capabilities for the Department of Defense. As Vice Chief, he pioneered a new and aggressive approach to supporting warriors with invisible wounds, as well as their caregivers.
General Goldfein held numerous command positions, notably the deployed Air Component Commander for US Central Command from 2011-2013, where he directed all air and space operations across 20 countries spanning the broader Middle East. An effective coalition-builder, General Goldfein traveled extensively as a military “ambassador,” working with stakeholders across the region and building crucial inter-disciplinary relationships. He successfully envisioned and built the first-ever Gulf Air Operations Center, with representation from all six Gulf Cooperation Council countries inside his headquarters. He was also the 49th Fighter Wing Commander where he was the final operational Pilot trained in the F-117 and led the retirement of the aircraft.
General Goldfein currently serves as a Senior Advisor for Blackstone Investment Group, where he helps senior Blackstone leaders formulate and execute optimal courses of action based on an informed global risk assessment. In this role, he is Chairman of the Board of Draken International LLC, a Blackstone-owned company focused on US and foreign military training. Dave Goldfein is Chair of the Board for Google Public Sector, a subsidiary of Google focused on bringing Google Cloud technology to solve complex problems for U.S. public sector institutions.
Goldfein has been named a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he maintains a focus on their Air and Space portfolios. An equally important part of his portfolio, Goldfein dedicates a significant portion of his time serving in Pro Bono positions which includes Chairman-elect of the National Board of the USO.
General Goldfein received his commission from the US Air Force Academy in 1983, with a degree in Philosophy. He later earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma City University. He is a graduate of the prestigious Air Force Weapons Instructor Course and the Department of State’s Senior Seminar program as a National Defense Fellow. General Goldfein is married to his high school sweetheart, Dawn A. Goldfein. They will celebrate their 40th anniversary and cherish their time with their four beautiful grandchildren.