Association of Graduates
Rob Fabian Class of 1988

Rob Fabian, Col, USAF, is deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, as the Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Director General of Communications. He’s both a space and missile operations officer and an ICBM maintenance officer who has run the gamut from commanding maintainers in the field to working interagency issues in OSD Space Policy, plus a stint as the CSAF’s speechwriter. A 1988 graduate in Space Operations, he holds advanced degrees in Public Administration (University of Oklahoma), and National Security Strategy (Naval War College) and was an Air Force Fellow at RAND. He is an AOG life member and Saber Society donor.

Candidacy Statement

My time at the Academy and with fellow grads afterwards has made an indelible mark on my life – for the better. The Academy has always felt like home to me, and my time at USAFA and with the graduate community has shaped my life for the better. I want a chance to give something back. More importantly, I want a chance to help pass something on. The sense of honor, duty, and fellowship that USAFA gave me belongs to every cadet and every graduate. The AOG stands as a guardian of that tradition. Who wouldn’t want to help?


Why did you decide to run for the AOG Board of Directors?

While deployed I had some time to reflect on my time at USAFA. I realized that I was still using the lessons in integrity and leadership that I had learned as a cadet more than two decades before. I also realized that some of my best personal memories over the years involved my fellow grads. My time at USAFA and with the graduate community has shaped my life for the better and I want a chance to give something back. More importantly, I want a chance to help pass something on. The sense of honor, duty, and fellowship that USAFA gave me belongs to every cadet and every graduate. The AOG stands as a guardian of that tradition. Who wouldn’t want to help?


What skills, knowledge, & experience do you have that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board?

While I’ve never served on a corporate board before, my Air Force career has given me the skills I’ll need. I’ve led groups of three to three hundred Airmen. During my time on the OSD staff and later as a RAND fellow I worked policy issues that reached the National Security Council staff and done strategic planning across multiple missions and time frames. More importantly, I bring nearly twenty-five years of experience as a grad and an Airman making decisions and taking care of my Airmen, my comrades, and my bosses.


What involvement with the AOG or the Academy have you had that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board of Directors?

In a sense, I grew up on the Academy. Some of my earliest memories are of life as a dependent in Douglass Valley. I’m a life member of the AOG and, for the past few years, a Saber Society donor. Beyond that, I’ve had many years of service spent with my fellow grads both on and off duty.


How would you suggest the AOG improve its relevance to the Graduate Community as a whole and to individual Graduates?

Some of my happiest memories off duty have been socializing with fellow grads. There’s a common bond there that’s unlike any other I’ve experienced. Yet more often than not, I’ve found little or no active local AOG presence. That’s as much a failure of the individual graduates as it is the AOG’s. But it can be done. I’ve seen the beginnings of it in the Utah chapter before I deployed. I’d like to see a resurgence of local chapters across the country and at bases overseas, both for fun and for professional growth. While no one wants to be told to get their chin in, a little advice from an older grad that has “been there and done that” can be a huge help. Strong local chapters can facilitate both.


Under the recently adopted Carver governance model, the primary role of the Board is to provide the strategic direction for the organization, while leaving operational administration to the CEO. How do you define strategic direction? What experience have you had in strategic thinking and policy making?

I haven’t had a lot of experience with the Carver governance model, but I have had a great deal of experience developing strategy and working policy issues. You define a strategic direction by determining your desired end state and then work backwards to determine the resources and tasks required to achieve it. Policy guides the implementation of that vision and provides the framework in which the mission is executed. The Board sets that vision and provides policy guidance on the ways and means, while the AOG staff plans and executes the tasks needed to reach that vision.

I’ve done that sort of strategic planning as a mission area planner at AFSPC, in the Skunks on the Air Staff, and as the Deputy Director of Plans and Programs at an air logistics center. I’ve written policy from squadron ops to national policy and spent a year at RAND learning policy analysis from the best in the business.


How much of your time can you devote to meetings, preparation for Board of Directors meetings, emails/correspondence, committee work, and interacting with members?

I’m currently deployed to Iraq and won’t return to CONUS until the summer of 2013, but I can still participate in meetings and committee work via telephone conferences, Skype, and email. I can also devote as much of my off duty time as needed to AOG work while deployed. Once I return, I will be able to make the four annual Board meetings as well as the make the time needed to be an effective Board and Committee member. After all, time management is yet another thing we learned at USAFA!


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