Deborah Mullen was born in Van Nuys, California, and earned a bachelor's degree in family studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. A Navy spouse for 43 years, Deborah and her husband, Admiral Mike Mullen, have lived on naval installations on both coasts and overseas in the Philippines and in Italy. Admiral and Mrs. Mullen returned to Washington, D.C. in May 2005. Admiral Mullen is now retired from the U.S. Navy after 43 years of distinguished service. Prior to his retirement, Admiral Mullen served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Oct. 1, 2007 to Sep. 30, 2011.
Mrs. Mullen is a staunch advocate of military families, surviving family members, homeless veterans, and family readiness efforts. She met with spouses at military installations at home and abroad to get at the heart of the issues affecting their quality of life. She served as a Field Representative Director on the board of Naval Services Family Line for five years, and was also a member of the Family Line committee that developed the COMPASS program.. COMPASS is a standardized Team-Mentoring program developed by military spouses for spouses to enhance their knowledge through experience to meet the challenges of the military lifestyle. She served multiple times as chairman of the New Flag Officer Training Symposium spouse committee, and as senior flag spouse advisor to the Navy's Command Spouse Leadership Course (CSLC) and National Defense University CAPSTONE Course.
Mrs. Mullen is the proud sponsor of USS Dewey (DDG105). The Dewey was commissioned in Seal Beach, California on March 6, 2010 and is currently home ported in San Diego.
Mrs. Mullen currently serves on the boards of the Families and Work Institute, American Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces Advisory Board, the Robin Hood Foundation's Veterans Advisory Board and ThanksUSA. Mrs. Mullen's focus is on veteran and family health, education, and employment needs. She actively works on behalf of organizations that support veteran and family reintegration, surviving families of the fallen, and veteran homeless issues.
During her husband's tenure, Mrs. Mullen traveled extensively around the world with her husband in support of international relations and military family readiness. She enjoys reading, journaling, spending time with friends, and fly-fishing with her husband.
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