Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith W. Dayton U.S. Army
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton is the Director, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He is responsible for orchestrating resident courses, outreach programs and an international and inter-agency network of about 14,000 government officials from 156 nations in fields of international security studies, defense and foreign affairs.
The Marshall Center is a 26-year-old German-American security partnership that has produced generations of global security professionals schooled in American and German security policies. The mission of the Marshall Center is to enable solutions to regional and transnational security challenges through capacity building, access and a globally connected network.
He retired from the U.S. Army Dec. 1, 2010, as a lieutenant general after more than 40 years of service. His last assignment while on active duty was as U.S. security coordinator to Israel and Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem.
A foreign area officer by training, General Dayton studied at the U.S. Army Russian Institute in Garmisch. His assignments in that field included politico-military staff officer for the Army in Washington D.C.; U.S. defense attaché in Russia; and deputy director for politico-military affairs, Europe and Africa, for the J-5 division of the joint staff in Washington D.C.
General Dayton also worked as director for operations and director for human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington D.C., including duty as director of the Iraqi Survey Group for Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq; and went on to direct the strategy, plans and policy division for the Department of the Army before his assignment to Jerusalem in December, 2005.
In addition to his politico-military experience, General Dayton has held command four times as an artillery officer, and been an operations officer and executive officer during his career. He earned a senior service college fellowship to Harvard University, and served as the senior Army fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster.
General Dayton has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the College of William and Mary, a master's degree in history from Cambridge University, and a master's degree in international relations from the University of Southern California. He speaks Russian and some German.
In November 2018, Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis appointed General Dayton as the Senior U.S. Defense Advisor to Ukraine.
In November 2019, Austrian Defense Minister Thomas Starlinger presented the “Decoration of Honour” for services to the Republic of Austria to Dayton during the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes Senior Advisory Council meeting in Vienna.