Penn calls up Marine as EVP

Maj. Gen. Clifford Stanley will report for duty as Penn’s new executive vice president at 0900 hours on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Clifford Stanley

Clifford Stanley

Photo by Daniel R. Burke

The 55-year-old deputy commanding general of the Combat Development Command, the U.S. Marine Corps’s training and development arm, was chosen after a nationwide search for a replacement for John Fry, who left Penn in July to become president of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

At a Sept. 6 news conference announcing Stanley’s selection, President Judith Rodin praised his people skills and said his military background would serve him well at Penn.

“[He] brings from the military an understanding of large, complex organizations and a respect for an institution’s culture,” she said, calling him “a doer and someone who makes things happen.”

In addition to running the Marines’ training program, Stanley also served as commanding general of the Marine base at Quantico, Va., where he was responsible for the welfare of the 20,000 military and civilian personnel who worked and lived at the base.

In his Marine post, he was also actively involved in addressing issues affecting the community around the 60,000-acre complex.

Stanley is also not unfamiliar with Penn. Michael Useem, the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, has had Stanley speak to students in his classes on leadership and has taken them to Quantico to tour the base . Stanley also was a member of the class of White House Fellows that included Wharton School Dean Patrick Harker.

Stanley himself pointed out one more tie between himself and the world of Wharton. “The same tactics they were using on the [stock exchange trading] floor on Wall Street, we were using in the military,” he said.

Stanley said that some of his military colleagues did not quite understand his career move—“As late as yesterday [Sept. 5], I had friends saying, You did what?”—but noted that his role as an educator in the Marine Corps is easily transferable to the civilian sector. In fact, Stanley had twice been a finalist for the School District of Philadelphia CEO job, but removed himself from consideration both times.

Originally published on September 19, 2002