Brigadier General Richard Gross
(USA, Retired, USMA 1985)


Leadership; legal operations; strategic planning & decision-making; communication & advocacy; organizational change; problem-solving; crisis management


Rich is an experienced C-Suite executive, seasoned leader, senior legal counsel, and strategic advisor with deep experience in government, nonprofits, and private industry. He has senior executive experience as both in-house and outside legal counsel and has led cross-functional teams, both large and small, across the globe.

For over 35 years, Rich has been a servant-leader in critical leadership and advisor positions, building teams and providing seasoned counsel on military and business matters with global implications. He served over 30 years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and judge advocate and deployed multiple times to combat zones. In the latter part of his military career, he was the principal legal advisor for the Joint Special Operations Command, the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan/NATO International Security Assistance Force, and U.S. Central Command. In his final military assignment, he was promoted to brigadier general and served as the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition to his military service, Rich has trained executives on strategic communications; was a partner at a veteran-owned DC-based law firm; was the general counsel and chief compliance officer for a mid-sized global company; and was the general counsel and senior advisor for a DC-based strategic advisory firm.

Currently, besides his work at Thayer, he is a consultant and senior advisor for a software company that develops artificial intelligence platforms to facilitate data analysis. He also serves on the board of directors for three nonprofit organizations assisting veterans and military families.

Scholarly Work/Publications/Awards

Rich’s military decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Legion of Merit; and the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He earned the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Expert Infantryman Badge. His publications include a Different Worlds: Unacknowledged Special Operations and Covert Action (U.S. Army War College, 2009) and U.S. Military Operations: Law, Policy and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2016) [co- author of a chapter on multi-national operations].


JD, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA

LLM, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School, Charlottesville, VA
MSS, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

BS, Computer Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY