Naval Museum has new leader

Retired general to run foundation

May 8, 2013 10:41 PM
Written by PNJ
Rob Johnson

Past President’s of the Museum Foundation

Past presidents of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Thomas Moore, 1966-1975
Paul Thayer, 1975-77 William Murray, 1977-1980 Retired Vice Adm. Maurice Weisner, 1980-1993 Retired Vice Adm. John “Jack” Fetterman, 1993-2006 Retired Vice Adm. Gerald Hoewing, 2006-2013

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation on Tuesday named Duane D. Thiessen, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and aviator, as its new president and chief executive officer.

Thiessen, 62, succeeds Gerald R. Hoewing, 63, a retired Navy vice admiral who announced his retirement in February.

Like Hoewing, Thiessen is a veteran aviator whose deployments included flying fighter jets on duty on an aircraft carrier. He goes by the call sign “Drano.”

As Hoewing’s successor, Thiessen will take on the budgeting, fundraising and administration of the foundation as well as the management of the National Flight Academy. He begins the new job June 4.

Neither Thiessen nor foundation board members were available for interviews Wednesday.

A Museum Foundation news release stated that Thiessen has “the operational experience and strong connections with the military and Washington, D.C., to protect and promote the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s mission to inspire, engage and educate the public on the proud history and heritage of Naval Aviation.”

A Marine Corps website states that Thiessen’s 38-year career included commands in Korea and Hawaii. He retired last August from his post commanding U.S. Marine Corps forces in the Pacific.

At Thiessen’s retirement ceremony, according to the Marine website, the branch’s commandant, Gen. James Amos, praised his work for the assistant secretary of the Navy in research, development and acquisition.

Thiessen is a graduate of Pittsburgh State College, the Naval Command and Staff College and the Naval War College.

Thiessen and his wife, Lynn, have two children, including a son who is a Marine captain. According to telephone records, he currently resides in Springfield, Va., although his phone number isn’t listed.

Hoewing leaves the museum in solid financial condition, well in the black despite a period of major expansion and the perils of the national economic downturn, according to federal tax records.

Hoewing’s tenure, which began in 2006, included the addition of the 50,000-square-foot Hangar Bay One, a $6 million facility that allows the display of the museum’s more recent artifacts, such as war planes from Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.

Hoewing’s annual compensation was $146,732 a year, according to the nonprofit organization’s 2011 federal tax return. How much Thiessen will be paid isn’t known.

Back to Top