Bernd "Bear" McConnell is a RAND adjunct, a senior advisor to the University of Hawaii's Pacific Disaster Center, and a Board member of several Colorado NGOs. He is also an advisor to the Center for Human Security at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Until retiring from the career Senior Executive Service in 2012, McConnell oversaw the interagency coordination elements of NORAD and the US Northern Command. Before coming to Colorado, McConnell was Director of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) at the Agency for International Development. Earlier he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Earlier still, he was Director of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy's Balkans Task Force.
McConnell was an Air Force pilot and commander. He served overseas in the United Kingdom, South East Asia and South Africa. A Naval Academy graduate with a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California, he is a member of the State Department’s 39th Senior Seminar and attended the Harvard Senior Leader Security Program.
His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, Brazil's Order of St Dumont, Senegal's Order of the Lion, twice the Secretary of Defense Award for Meritorious Civilian Service and lastly the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Civilian Service.