Bruce M. Lawlor, 1966
Bruce M. Lawlor was a student from Bellows Falls who realized that a Vermont Academy education would open the door to stronger college opportunities.
He attended George Washington University and graduated in 1970. In 1971, Lawlor found himself working for the CIA in Viet Nam as an advisor to indigenous irregular forces. He holds bachelor of arts, master of arts, juris doctorate, and doctor of science degrees. Strong Vermont ties brought Lawlor back to his roots, where he set up a law practice in Springfield. He served in the administration of Governor Thomas Salmon and, from 1980 to 1984, he was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. A loyal public servant, his goals were to rebuild the public’s faith in the legal system, tighten drug conspiracy laws, and create victims’ rights programs.
In 1995, the U.S. Army selected Lawlor to become a National Security Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied information technology and warfare. The Army then posted him to NATO military headquarters in Belgium as a special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Lawlor was promoted to Brigadier General and selected by the Secretary of Defense to become the U.S. Army’s Deputy Director of Operations, Readiness and Mobilization, and Deputy Director for Military Support at U.S. Army Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In that position, he monitored U.S. Army operations and planning worldwide and provided oversight for the organization and stand-up of Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.
In 1999, he was promoted to Major General and made the first commanding general of Joint Task Force Civil Support. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Lawlor was posted to the White House where he served as the senior director for protection and prevention for Governor Tom Ridge within the Office of Homeland Security. As a senior White House staff member, Lawlor was part of the five-person team that wrote the plan to create the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When the Department was formed, Lawlor became Secretary Ridge’s first chief of staff.
Lawlor retired from the U.S. Army in 2004 and is currently the chairman and CEO of Community Research Associates, Inc; supporting government and the private sector in terrorism prevention, emergency preparedness, and homeland security.