Rear Adm. Yvette Davids Nominated as Next Naval Academy Superintendent

April 21, 2023 9:36 AM - Updated: April 21, 2023 12:18 PM
Rear Adm. Yvette Davids. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional information

Rear Adm. Yvette Davids has been nominated to serve as the next superintendent of the Naval Academy, USNI News has learned.

If approved by the Senate, Davids would be the first female superintendent in the service academy’s history.

Her name was listed on the Senate’s presidential nomination list for promotion to vice admiral but without a position. Two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Friday that President Joe Biden nominated Davids for the academy’s top position. The Naval Academy later confirmed the nomination in a news release Friday.

Davids, who currently serves as the director of the Learning to Action Drive Team, is a 1989 graduate of the Naval Academy, according to her Navy biography.

She previously served as the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs under the State Department, as well as chief of staff for U.S. Southern Command.

A career surface warfare officer, she deployed on Mars-class combat stores ship USS San Jose (AFS-7) as part of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She also served as the executive officer for Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) during Operation Iraqi Freedom and commanded Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Curts (FFG-38) during deployments as part of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Davids was the first Hispanic American woman to lead a warship as the commanding officer of Curts, according to the academy’s release.

Her last operational deployment was as the commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.

She is married to Rear Adm. Keith Davids, who is the current commander of Naval Special Warfare Command.

The Davids are the only dual-military admiral couple, a defense official told USNI News. Both attended the Naval Academy, where they were on the sailing team.

If confirmed, Davids will be the fourth woman to lead a federal service academy. In 2011, Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz took charge of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In 2013, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson became the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy and in December retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan became the first superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The current superintendent, Vice Adm. Sean Buck, is expected to retire following the change of command.

The timing of Davids’ confirmation is an open question. Defense Department civilian and military nominations are on hold by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) over objections to a series of Pentagon policies that allow service members to take out-of-state leave for reproductive healthcare, including abortions.

More than 100 DoD nominations are stalled due to the hold.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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