The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation supports the National Naval Aviation Museum and National Flight Academy—which advances STEM education for our nation’s youth. We promote the history and heritage of Naval Aviation for current and future generations.


Vice Admiral James M. Zortman, USN (Ret.)

Vice Admiral Zortman is sector Vice President, Life Cycle Logistics and Support, for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, a premier provider of manned and unmanned aircraft, space systems and advanced technologies critical to our nation’s security.

He joined Northrop Grumman in January 2008, following a career in the US Navy, where he attained the rank of vice admiral. He served as Commander Naval Air Forces and Chief Executive Officer, Naval Aviation Enterprise. In this role, he led a combined team of more than 180,000 military, government, civilian and contractor personnel responsible for operations, readiness and full life cycle management of 3,800 aircraft and 12 aircraft carriers.

His prior assignments include Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet; Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet; Commander, Task Force Fifty; Commander, John C. Stennis Battle Group; Director, Operations and Politico-Military Affairs; and XO to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has earned the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (4), the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Zortman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and completed a fellowship with the Chief of Naval Operations in Strategic Studies Group at the Naval War College.


Lieutenant General Duane D. Thiessen, USMC (Ret.)

Lieutenant General Thiessen was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1974. His initial operational assignment was as an AV-8A Harrier Pilot in which he completed numerous deployments to both the Mediterranean Sea and Okinawa. In 1982, he was assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One in Yuma, Arizona, where he served as an AV-8 tactics instructor.

In June 1991, he reported to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he assumed command of Marine Attack Training Squadron 203. His next assignment was Commanding Officer of Marine Aircraft Group-13 in Yuma, Arizona. Lieutenant General Thiessen then reported to HQMC to serve in Aviation Plans and Policy Branch until July 2000, when he was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Expeditionary Force Programs.

When promoted to Brigadier General, he was assigned as Deputy Director of Operations, National Military Command Center. He then served as Inspector General of the Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Thiessen assumed Command of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan, in June of 2004 followed by two years as Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Korea and assistant Chief of Staff, U/C/J-5 United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea. In 2007, he returned to the United States, was promoted to Lieutenant General, and assumed the duties of Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources, Headquarters United States Marine Corps. Prior to his retirement in August 2012, Lieutenant General Thiessen served as Commanding General, US Marine Corps Forces Pacific.

In 2013, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation named Thiessen, a retired Marine as its new President and CEO. Thiessen is a graduate of Pittsburgh State College, the Naval Command and Staff College and the Naval War College.


We are here because of your generous donations and it’s thanks to you that we’ve been able to accomplish so much in our efforts to support the National Naval Aviation Museum and enhance STEM education with our world-class aviation-themed learning adventure, the National Flight Academy.

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Browse the documents below to learn more about the Foundation’s financial status, leadership, its policies and other investment information.


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