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Robert Newson, PhD


Strategy, Learning & Development

Rob Newson is an Advisor to Northwest Harbor, bringing over three decades of enterprise leadership and strategic development experience to the Northwest Harbor Team. He is a master integrator of ideas, personalities, and actions; skilled at refining organizational culture to get the best from teams, concepts, and systems. He is driven by a sense of contribution and community, and motivated by challenges, and empowering teams to produce results and accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Rob currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Vision for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is responsible for cultivating their championship DNA (identity & culture); integrating innovation efforts; supporting leadership development and decision-making; and advancing athlete care.


Previously Rob served as the Director, White House Military Office (WHMO), responsible for military support to the President, including Air Force One, Marine One, Camp David, Presidential Food Service, and the White House Medical Office. Prior to his time at The White House, he served nearly 30 years as a leader in the United States Navy SEAL Enterprise. He is a “start-up” specialist, leading or part of six separate new military organizations, including two national strategic planning elements, and a first-of-its-kind organization to collect and integrate battlefield intelligence to identify and disable terrorist networks.


Rob spent fourteen years as a strategist - working with small, multi-disciplinary work groups, teaming across organizations and government agencies, analyzing and framing complex challenges, combining alternatives in creative ways, and writing about critical issues.  He has led diverse teams and organizations – coalitions of the willing where he honed an ability to encourage and inspire cooperation, collaboration, and action; harness information and reputation; leverage networks and alliances; and frame and shape conversations of meaning.  


Rob served as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. He holds a BS in computer science from the University of Kansas, an MS in Defense Analysis (Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict) and an MA in National Security Affairs (Strategic Studies), both from Naval Postgraduate School. He also holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.

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