In Memoriam: George E. Thibault


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with deep sorrow the death on November 4, 2012 of former Honorary Member, George E. Thibault.  George was elected a Member of the Corporation in 1999; he was elected an Honorary Member in 2006.  George was a member of the Committee on the Board, the Research and Education Committee, and the Ocean Life Institute Committee.  He was also an active and enthusiastic participant in the WHOI Science Partnership Program. 

George Edward Thibault was born July 21, 1933.  He earned a BS degree in Chemistry and Biology from Tufts University, an MS degree in Education from Boston University, and his MA degree in International Affairs and Political Science from George Washington University.  

George was a Founding Partner and former President of Learning Associates, Inc.  Prior to this, he was affiliated with Booz Allen & Hamilton as the Director of Business Strategy and War Gaming, and was also the Director of the firm’s Senior Leadership Development Program.  George was a recipient of Booz Allen’s Professional Excellence Award.

Before joining Booz Allen & Hamilton, George served as a line officer in the United States Navy, in destroyers, cruisers and amphibious ships, retiring with the rank of Captain.  George was Special Assistant to the Director, Central Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agency, and also to the Commander, U.S. Second Fleet and Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe.  He served on the staffs of the Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic and United Nations  Command, Korea.  George taught at the French Naval Academy, Brest France; was Associate Director, College of Naval Warfare, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.; and was Chairman of the Department of Strategy at the National War College.  He was the Founding Director of the Strategic Concepts Development Center in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and served in the personal strategy department and assessment group for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  George was the first Professor Emeritus of the National War College.

During his career, George served as a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies of London and a member of the Advisory Board of the Graduate School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.  He was the author of “The Art and Practice of Military Strategy” and “Dimensions of Military Strategy” and a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy journals. 

In addition to his wife Sally, George is survived by two daughters, both Foreign Service Officers: Sara Beth Thibault and Suzanne E. (Thibault) Payne, wife of Rear Admiral Tilghman D. Payne, Commander for Joint Region Marianas and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas.  George is also survived by two grandchildren.

Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. 


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