Mrs. Fern Sumpter Winbush was selected on October 27, 2015 to serve as the Principal Deputy Director for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). In support of the Director, DPAA, she is responsible for leading the agency in formulating policy, overseeing business development, and increasing outreach initiatives to achieve the agency’s goal of providing families and the nation with the fullest possible accounting of missing personnel from past conflicts.
Mrs. Winbush hails from Boston, Massachusetts, where she was a 1989 honor graduate of the University of Massachusetts and a distinguished military graduate of Suffolk University's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in Boston. She began her military career as a Private First Class in the Army Reserves in 1983. Her service continued upon her transfer to the Massachusetts Army National Guard until her active duty appointment as a Military Intelligence Second Lieutenant in 1990. Over the next 25 years, she held numerous positions of increased responsibility in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Korea, and the Netherlands culminating with a deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul, Afghanistan and subsequently, as the Commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia. Mrs. Winbush retired from the Army after 31 years of military service in January 2015.
Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Business Management-Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts; a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; Command and General Staff College; Military Intelligence Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; and Airborne School.
Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (First Oak Leaf Cluster), Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (Sixth Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Army Achievement Medal.
Mrs. Winbush is married and has one son.