Former White House Fellow Commander, U.S. Coast Guard
MPP, Class of 2009
A native of Vienna, Virginia, CDR Harrison graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1995. CDR Harrison first served as a Deck Watch Officer on U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) STORIS (WMEC-38) in Kodiak, AK, followed by service as Executive Officer of USCGC KISKA (WPB-1309) in Hilo, HI, Protocol Officer for the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington, DC, and Commanding Officer of USCGC AQUIDNECK (WPB-1336) in Fort Macon, NC, and later Manama, Bahrain. In March 2003, CDR Harrison led AQUIDNECK during the invasion of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Upon returning from the Persian Gulf, CDR Harrison served as the Senior Instructor of the Maritime Boarding Officer School in Yorktown, VA, and then established the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy in Charleston, SC, where she served as Executive Officer. She returned to sea in 2006 as Executive Officer of USCGC LEGARE (WMEC-912) in Portsmouth, VA. After earning a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University, she was responsible for strategic oversight, policy formulation, and Congressional briefings for programs representing $2.7 billion of the Service’s operating base as a Program Reviewer in the Office of Budget and Programs (CG-821). CDR Harrison earned a second master’s degree in Educational Technology Leadership from The George Washington University in 2010.
In 2010, CDR Harrison was chosen by President Barack Obama to serve as of one of 13 White House Fellows for 2010-2011 during which she served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of NASA and acting Deputy Chief of Staff of NASA. She served as a Strategic Analyst in the Strategic Management and Doctrine Directorate (CG-095) before assuming command of NORTHLAND on May 11, 2012.
CDR Harrison’s awards include the Bronze Star, Coast Guard Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal and Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
In her personal time, CDR Harrison is active in many volunteer public service organizations. Most notably, she has been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) since 1999. She is currently a volunteer firefighter, EMT and Adjunct Instructor with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue in Northern Virginia.