The 44th Army Surgeon General & Former CG, Army Medical Command
Lieutenant General (ret) Nadja West is the 44th Surgeon General of the US Army and the former commanding general of the US Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM). In 2015 West became the first African American woman in the Army’s history to achieve the rank of Lieutenant General, and is currently the highest-ranking woman graduate of the United States Military Academy. A graduate of The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, West completed residencies in Family Medicine and Dermatology and has held various clinical, operational and leadership positions throughout her more than 30-year career as a Soldier.
In her culminating assignment in the Army as the Surgeon General (TSG) and Commanding General of USAMEDCOM, West managed a budget of $11 billion and led the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) consisting of more than 130,000 dedicated healthcare professionals comprised of Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, contractors and volunteers serving around the globe. In her role as TSG, West was the senior medical advisor to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army. During her tenure, she led the AMEDD through the most comprehensive transformation that the Joint Health Services Enterprise has seen in over three decades.
West gratefully acknowledges the trailblazers who helped clear the path for her to follow, and the shoulders upon which she stood to climb to the heights she was able to achieve. She is continuing to blaze the path for others to follow. Among West’s accomplishments are several Army firsts. In 1999 she was the first woman selected to be the Division Surgeon for 1st Armored Division (Iron Soldiers!), the first woman selected as the Joint Staff Surgeon in 2014. As the Joint Staff Surgeon West was the advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) on all things medical.
In addition to West’s military awards, decorations and honors, she holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from the George Washington University (GWU), and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Methodist University. In 2016 West received the GWU Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award; and became one of the inaugural Monumental Alumni award recipients in 2021. She is the recipient of the 2019 Daughters of the American Revolution Margaret Cochran Corbin Award. In 2020, the CEO Forum Group selected West for the 2020 Transformative CEO Award in Leadership in the category of Military.
West was a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership 2019-2021, and is currently a Distinguished Fellow of the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. She serves on the boards of directors for Johnson & Johnson, Nucor, Tempus Labs and Tenet. She is a trustee of the National Recreation Foundation, and of Mount St. Mary’s University; and is on the boards of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Americares, and the Olmsted Foundation. She also serves as an independent director on the Board of Governors of the NCAA.
She and her husband Don have two awesome adult children, Sydney and Logan.