Andy White, Ed.D. is the Director of the University of Tennessee’s Aerospace & Defense Business Institute, launched January 1, 2015. In this role he leads industry outreach and supports strategic planning for education and training programs serving the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry. He also promotes and supports the college’s applied research for the industry, including more than $58M of work for the Air Force since 2007.
Prior to his current post, he served seven years as director of UT’s one-of-a-kind Aerospace & Defense MBA program. There White served as the senior academic and student affairs officer and a core faculty member for America’s only executive MBA program designed exclusively for aerospace and defense professionals. The program graduated nearly 200 government and industry leaders during his tenure. White served as the program’s senior liaison to government and industry leaders, coordinating their input and working with a dozen of the college’s top faculty members to shape the program’s unique curriculum and design. He also directed student recruiting and admissions, and managed program delivery. His own areas of academic expertise include business communication, public relations, and war-time media coverage. He earned the Haslam College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Executive Education for 2012 and again for 2013.
Before returning to his alma matter (UT), White served a 20-year career as an Air Force officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2007. He concluded his career as Commander of the 341st Recruiting Squadron in San Antonio, Texas, leading the squadron to finish second out of 28 units in war-time recruiting production. Prior to command, he served as Public Affairs Director for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at the height of the Global War on Terror, providing communications counsel and support to special operations commanders and Airmen around the world. In this role, he also served as a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Council, advising the Air Force Public Affairs Director and Secretary of the Air Force on Public Affairs policy, capabilities and requirements.
Before AFSOC, White served as Public Affairs Director for the SACS-accredited Air University, in Montgomery, Alabama. Before that he spent two years as a faculty member and deputy director of the Air Force’s Public Affairs Center of Excellence, instructing military and civilian personnel of all ranks in both degree and certificate programs. He also served as public affairs (PA) director for three other Air Force installations, twice leading his unit to major command PA team of the year honors. White deployed in support of contingency and combat operations six times, including a deployment to Iraq with Special Operations Forces in 2004. He deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2001 and 2003 where he served as Director of Public Affairs Strategy and Plans for all air operations at the start of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. In other deployments he served as Public Affairs Director for Operation Northern Watch (No-Fly Zone over Northern Iraq), for Joint Task Force Provide Promise (peacekeeping operations in Bosnia) and Operation Fairwinds (humanitarian operations in Haiti).
White holds a doctorate in education leadership from the University of Southern California, an M.S. in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and a B.A. in Political Science from UT. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College. He was named a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force ROTC program and the DoD Public Affairs Officer Course. He is a member of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s, Aerospace and Defense Strategy Group working in support of the state’s economic development goals Tennessee’s Commissioner for Economic Development.