November 11, 2023

On this Veterans Day, we proudly introduce four Lauder Institute students, each of whom brings a rich history of service with the U.S. Armed Forces, representing the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy. Veterans possess a unique and global perspective, having traversed the world while navigating diverse cultures, languages, and geographies in service to their country. Over the years, the Lauder Institute, as an international studies degree program, has drawn in numerous globally-minded veterans, recognizing the invaluable qualities of service, leadership, and adaptability that they bring to the world of business and beyond. Read on to learn more about our veterans, including the best lesson they learned during their time in the military.



ACTIVE DUTY:  U.S. AIR FORCE, 2009 – 2022

“The best life lesson I learned from the military was to put people first. Whether you’re deployed overseas, or fighting over budget in the Pentagon, taking care of people first allows the mission to easily fall into place. I’m learning that this lesson is just as true in business leadership.”

Jeb was born in Arkansas but spent much of his childhood in Brussels and Lausanne before attending high school in Georgia. After earning his undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy, Jeb was commissioned as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he spent the majority of his career in the Special Operations community. The military stationed Jeb in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and Washington, D.C., and deployed him on multiple missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. His most rewarding deployment was to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where he organized multiple training missions between the Burkinabe and U.S. military following a period of civil unrest. Jeb is currently serving as an Air Force reservist while completing his MA/MBA.

Jeb is a student in Lauder’s Africa Program, with a concentration in French.



ACTIVE DUTY:  U.S. ARMY, 2018 – 2022

“Your ability to lead and create change isn’t determined by the stamps on your resume or the ribbons on your chest – it’s determined by how you show up every day, your willingness to listen, and act. The best leaders I had were the most unconventional ones; the ones who dared to listen.”

Manny was born and raised in Houston, Texas. The son of a Salvadoran refugee, Manny was the first in his family to attend college. Upon graduating from Dartmouth College in 2018, Manny enlisted in the United States Army and began serving as a cryptologic language analyst, specializing in Persian-Farsi. He distinguished himself with meritorious service as Team Lead, Directorate of Operations for the National Security Agency. He led a team of eight joint-service military analysts, supplying critical intelligence to deployed U.S. and coalition forces. He was also selected to create and manage an initiative focused on adversary weapons development and manufacturing. His efforts helped shape national security policy in a heavily contested region of the world and he was recognized by the Secretary of Defense, the director of the NSA, and the Office of the President of the United States.

Manny is a student in Lauder’s Latin America Program, with a concentration in Spanish.



ACTIVE DUTY:  U.S. ARMY, 2018 – 2022

“Integrity is everything. You need to understand who you are to your core and exactly what your convictions are. This allows others to build trust in you and inspires them to be their best selves. When others are counting on you and expending their blood, sweat, and tears on your behalf, you need to demonstrate you are worthy of that expenditure.”

Tommy earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Following graduation, he was commissioned as an infantry officer in the United States Army. He was first stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he completed the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course and Ranger School. From 2018 to 2022, Tommy was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. As an infantry platoon leader, he completed training deployments to Australia and Indonesia. As an operations officer, he established an international network of over 15 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific area, committed to advancing jungle warfare techniques.

Tommy is a student in Lauder’s Latin America Program, with a concentration in Portuguese.



ACTIVE DUTY:  U.S. NAVY, 2015 – 2023

“One of the best life lessons I learned during my time in the Navy was to learn as much as you can from your team, and to not be afraid to ask questions. Being dedicated to learning from the sailors you work with helps to build trust and cooperation. This trust is important because you will soon be leading those sailors, and they will look up to you for help.”

Will was born and raised in Oceanside, New York, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University where he was a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 2015, Will commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy and went on to complete his training to become a submarine warfare officer. Following his training, he served three years aboard the USS Jacksonville as both audit and surveillance officer and the submarine’s main propulsion assistant. Based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Will and his sailors were responsible for all nuclear related mechanical systems onboard the submarine and carried out the vessel’s final deployment. After the USS Jacksonville was decommissioned in 2021, Will served as a strike officer in Manama, Bahrain, at the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet Headquarters, then as an analyst at the Nimitz Warfare Analysis Center at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in Washington, D.C.

Will is a student in Lauder’s SAMENA Program, with a concentration in Arabic.

To watch our Veterans Day video on YouTube, click here.