Skip to main content

NACDS’ Annual Meeting Business Program to feature former defense secretary Mark Esper

Mark Esper will speak during the Business Program on April 26 at NACDS’ Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.
mark esper
Mark Esper

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced that Mark Esper — the 27th U.S. Secretary of Defense – will speak during its Business Program at its Annual Meeting, taking place from April 23 to 26 in Palm Beach, Fla.

Esper will speak during the Business Program panel taking place on Tuesday, April 26.

[Read more: NACDS annual's 1st virtual Business Program focuses on industry's role combating pandemic]

Sworn in as Secretary of Defense in July 2019, Esper went on to lead the United States Department of Defense through an unprecedented time in the nation’s history — from conflict with Iran, an ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East and the greatest civil unrest and political turmoil America has seen in decades, to a major recession and the spread of a global pandemic, the organization said. 

In addition, he is releasing a memoir, “A Sacred Oath,” which details this critical period in modern American history.

[Read More: Pharmacy orgs applaud DOJ action in Washington Medicaid case]

“NACDS is excited to welcome former Defense Secretary Mark Esper to the 2022 NACDS Annual Meeting. Esper’s experience leading the Defense Department during a tumultuous and consequential period of American history will provide NACDS chain and associate members with a unique perspective on the issues that are shaping our industry and our nation today,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “NACDS is thrilled to celebrate the return to in-person meetings, and appreciates the trust of the NACDS membership in the Association’s commitment to present one-of-a-kind meetings in a safe and effective manner.”

Esper received various accolades and distinctions throughout his 21-year military career – including the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and Combat Infantryman's Badge.

A two-time recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, he also received in 2021 the Minuteman Award for outstanding service from the National Guard Bureau, as well as the General Andrew J. Goodpaster Award for outstanding leadership and selfless service from the George C. Marshall Foundation.

[Read More: NACDS reminds legislators of role pharmacies, pharmacists played during pandemic]

Esper, who advanced his career by maintaining a clear vision for America's future, supervised the largest R&D budget in the department's history. He also directed expenditure on breakthrough technologies such as AI, oversaw energy, robotics and hypersonics and launched the largest diversity and inclusion effort in decades, the organization said. 

He currently holds a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

[Read More: Holding on to pharmacy’s pandemic-era gains]

NACDS also is reminding chain and associate members to register and attend the in-person Annual Meeting. Interested parties who would like more information can contact the organization’s senior vice president of member programs and services Jim Whitman. Additional information can be found online

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds