Leadership & Senior Staff

Lieutenant General Robert Ruark USMC (Ret.)

President & CEO

General Ruark retired from the Marine Corps in June of 2017 after 36 years of service. During his final military assignment as the Military Director to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, he oversaw a global staff of 32,000 civilians, military personnel, and contractors. Prior to his assignment with the Office of...

General Ruark retired from the Marine Corps in June of 2017 after 36 years of service. During his final military assignment as the Military Director to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, he oversaw a global staff of 32,000 civilians, military personnel, and contractors. Prior to his assignment with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, LtGen Ruark was the only Marine other than General Randolph McCall Pate, the twenty-first Commandant of the Marine Corps, to serve as the Joint Staff Director of Logistics (J4). His other General Officer assignments include service as Director of Logistics and Engineering for United States Central Command and, separately, Commanding General, 1st Marine Logistics Group during combat operations in Iraq.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, LtGen Ruark joined the Marine Corps in 1981 following his graduation with Honors from Miami University of Ohio. His academic achievements also include graduating with Honors from the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, receiving a Master of Arts degree at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and acting as the Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow to the Pennsylvania State University’s School of Business

Beyond his impeccable record of leadership, strategy and innovation, he also comes to us with a deep personal appreciation for our Foundation’s rich history, and an understanding of the important role education plays in the lives of the families we serve.

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Colonel Steven Peterson USMC (Ret.)

Chief Operating Officer

Steven Peterson joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in September of 2012 following a 24-year Marine Corps career. During his career he served as an infantry officer serving in a variety of operational and staff assignments. His last assignment on active duty was Branch Head, Reserve Affairs Manpower Management at Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters...

Steven Peterson joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in September of 2012 following a 24-year Marine Corps career. During his career he served as an infantry officer serving in a variety of operational and staff assignments. His last assignment on active duty was Branch Head, Reserve Affairs Manpower Management at Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps. Steven and his wife, Karen, and their two sons reside in Fairfax Station, VA.

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Lieutenant Colonel Ted Probert USMC (Ret.)

Chief Development Officer

Ted Probert served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves for 21 years retiring as a LtCol in 2014. For the last 25 years, he has served four independent schools: Lawrenceville, Kent, Westminster and Phillips Exeter Academy spearheading their fundraising efforts and as campaign director for the Exeter Initiatives, which raised $352M. He earned his B.A....

Ted Probert served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves for 21 years retiring as a LtCol in 2014. For the last 25 years, he has served four independent schools: Lawrenceville, Kent, Westminster and Phillips Exeter Academy spearheading their fundraising efforts and as campaign director for the Exeter Initiatives, which raised $352M. He earned his B.A. and Certification in Secondary School Education from Duke University.

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Ashley Saville

Senior Director of Development

Ashley Saville joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in 2014 and currently serves as the Senior Director of Development. As the daughter of dual Air Force Senior Master Sergeants, Ashley was led to serve after completing her bachelor of science degree at Kennesaw State University. Ashley commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in...

Ashley Saville joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in 2014 and currently serves as the Senior Director of Development. As the daughter of dual Air Force Senior Master Sergeants, Ashley was led to serve after completing her bachelor of science degree at Kennesaw State University. Ashley commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in August of 2009. After completing Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Logistics Officer Course, she deployed as a platoon commander to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In this capacity, she led convoy operations throughout the area of operation. Her last duty station was Marine Barracks Washington where she served as the assistant logistics officer and ceremonial marcher.

After leaving active duty, Ashley joined the private sector where she leveraged her knowledge of logistics and leadership towards pharmaceutical sales as a representative at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. As the Senior Director of Development, she serves as a representative and fundraiser for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation with prospects, donors, and volunteer leadership.  She manages the Directors of Development across the nation, coordinates and develops initiatives for a portfolio of major gift prospects and manages development initiatives relating to corporations and partnership with the Chief Development Officer. Ashley currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her active-duty Marine Corps husband who will assume command of Recruiting Station Denver in July 2018 and their son Robert.

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Major David W. Litkenhus USMC (Ret.)

Director, National Events

David brings tremendous experience serving in a variety of roles in both the military and civilian workforce. He enlisted in the Air Force serving for six years before transitioning to the Marine Corps as an Officer. He served as an Artillery Officer for the first seven years in the Marine Corps, before transitioning to the...

David brings tremendous experience serving in a variety of roles in both the military and civilian workforce. He enlisted in the Air Force serving for six years before transitioning to the Marine Corps as an Officer. He served as an Artillery Officer for the first seven years in the Marine Corps, before transitioning to the civilian workforce. While a civilian, David was a Senior Project Manager for Kforce Inc, managing mergers and acquisitions. David accepted mobility orders to go back into the Marines, serving as the Operations Officer at the Deployment Processing Center, where he was selected to the Active Reserve Program as a Financial Management Officer and assigned to Programs and Resources, working as the Aide-de Camp and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Commandant of Programs and Resources for three years before finishing his career as the Reserve Program Manager at MCCDC, retiring in 2016. For the last two years David was the Vice President of Operations for Rally Point Management in Fort Walton Beach, FL managing AFSOC and JSOC contracts in the defense industry.

David holds a BA in History from Benedictine College and he currently lives in Washington DC

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Courtney Balson-Madden

Director of Stewardship Programs

Courtney Balson-Madden joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Courtney quickly became involved in assisting the Foundation in its stewardship efforts and was promoted to the Senior Manager, Stewardship in 2014 where she is responsible for stewarding our investors while underscoring the immediate and long-term impact of...

Courtney Balson-Madden joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Courtney quickly became involved in assisting the Foundation in its stewardship efforts and was promoted to the Senior Manager, Stewardship in 2014 where she is responsible for stewarding our investors while underscoring the immediate and long-term impact of their investment. Courtney holds an undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Master’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. As the wife of a veteran Marine, Courtney is dedicated to helping Marines and their families through education. Courtney currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and twins, Shane and Jackson.

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Dana Umbach

Director of Communications

Dana joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2013 and quickly became involved in the development and execution of Scholarship Foundation messaging and was promoted to Communications Manager in 2016 where she was responsible for maintaining and leveraging the Scholarship Foundation’s presence in areas of paid, earned, owned and shared media. A veteran Marine spouse, Dana is...

Dana joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2013 and quickly became involved in the development and execution of Scholarship Foundation messaging and was promoted to Communications Manager in 2016 where she was responsible for maintaining and leveraging the Scholarship Foundation’s presence in areas of paid, earned, owned and shared media. A veteran Marine spouse, Dana is passionate about elevating the Scholarship Foundation’s brand, and building an engaged and supportive community of supporters nationwide. Dana holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Dana and her husband, veteran Marine Sergeant Chad Umbach, reside in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Jeanna Adams

Director, Scholarship Programs

Jeanna Adams joined the Scholarship Foundation in December 2010. During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Jeanna has developed and led programmatic strategies to achieve measurable results, and overseen the awarding of $36 million in scholarships and 11,000+ awards. A California native and a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jeanna brings a...

Jeanna Adams joined the Scholarship Foundation in December 2010. During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Jeanna has developed and led programmatic strategies to achieve measurable results, and overseen the awarding of $36 million in scholarships and 11,000+ awards. A California native and a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jeanna brings a background in non-profit development and growth strategies from her most recent position with the Neurosciences Institute, a non-profit brain research institute led by Nobel Laureate Gerald M. Edelman. An active member of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) since 2010, Jeanna currently serves on the Membership Committee and the Earned Revenue Committee for the Association. Jeanna and her husband, veteran Marine Corporal Dustin Adams, reside in Reno, Nevada.

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Rita H. Thakur

Director, Accounting and Finance

Rita joined the Scholarship Foundation in April 2011 and was appointed to Director, Finance and Accounting in August 2017. She brings to the senior leadership team twelve years of profit and non-profit accounting experience, including five years as the Foundation’s Accounting Manager and Assistant Director, Accounting and Finance. Previously a Project Accountant for M.C. Dean,...

Rita joined the Scholarship Foundation in April 2011 and was appointed to Director, Finance and Accounting in August 2017. She brings to the senior leadership team twelve years of profit and non-profit accounting experience, including five years as the Foundation’s Accounting Manager and Assistant Director, Accounting and Finance. Previously a Project Accountant for M.C. Dean, a design-build and systems integration corporation, she managed multiple construction projects, including $80 million budgeted for the recently developed Military Department Investigative Agencies Headquarters in Quantico, VA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Roanoke College and a Master of Business Administration from George Mason University. She is currently preparing to sit for the CPA exam and anticipates becoming certified in 2018.

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Candice Robinson

Senior Manager, Data Operations

Candice Robinson joined the Scholarship Foundation in July of 2012 as a part of the Data Operations Department. As the Senior Database Manager, she is responsible for gift entry, donor communication, and streamlined reporting. Since her tenure at the organization, Candice has developed processes and procedures to ensure the integrity of the database that support...

Candice Robinson joined the Scholarship Foundation in July of 2012 as a part of the Data Operations Department. As the Senior Database Manager, she is responsible for gift entry, donor communication, and streamlined reporting. Since her tenure at the organization, Candice has developed processes and procedures to ensure the integrity of the database that support the overall goals and mission of the organization. Candice holds an undergraduate degree from Kentucky State University and a Master’s degree from Oakland University. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband.

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