ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) announced Wednesday that Dr. Mark Esper – the 27th U.S. Secretary of Defense – will speak during the Business Program on Tuesday, April 26, at the 2022 NACDS Annual Meeting, which will be hosted April 23-26 in Palm Beach, FL.
Sworn in as Secretary of Defense in July 2019, Dr. Esper went on to lead the U.S. Department of Defense through an unprecedented time in the nation’s history — from conflict with Iran, an ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan, counter-terrorist operations in the Middle East and the greatest civil unrest and political turmoil America has seen in decades, to a major recession and the spread of a global pandemic.
Dr. Esper’s forthcoming memoir, A Sacred Oath, details this critical period in modern American history.
“NACDS is excited to welcome former Defense Secretary Dr. Mark Esper to the 2022 NACDS Annual Meeting. Dr. Esper’s experience leading the Defense Department during a tumultuous and consequential period of American history will provide NACDS chain and associate members with a unique perspective on the issues that are shaping our industry and our nation today,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “NACDS is thrilled to celebrate the return to in-person meetings, and appreciates the trust of the NACDS membership in the Association’s commitment to present one-of-a-kind meetings in a safe and effective manner.”
Dr. Esper received various accolades and distinctions throughout his 21-year military career – including the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. A two-time recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Dr. Esper also received in 2021 the Minuteman Award for outstanding service from the National Guard Bureau, as well as the General Andrew J. Goodpaster Award for outstanding leadership and selfless service from the George C. Marshall Foundation.
Dr. Esper advanced his career by maintaining a clear vision for America’s future. He supervised the largest R&D budget in the department’s history, directed expenditure on breakthrough technologies such as AI, oversaw energy, robotics, and hypersonics and launched the largest diversity and inclusion effort in decades.
Dr. Esper holds a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
NACDS invites all chain and associate members to register and attend the in-person 2022 NACDS Annual Meeting, to be held April 23-26.
For additional information about this year’s event, contact Jim Whitman, NACDS’ senior vice president of member programs and services, at (703) 837-4610 or visit the 2022 NACDS Annual Meeting frequently-asked-questions.