Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards, Director of MGMWERX, will deliver the keynote address to graduates at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus during a ceremony at the Convention Center at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa on Monday, May 17.
The ceremony, which will begin at 7 p.m., will observe COVID-19 social distancing protocols. In all, more than 180 Montgomery Campus students are expected to receive their degrees this spring, including 138 undergraduate degrees and 48 graduate degrees.
As Director of MGMWERX, Edwards oversees administration, programs, and strategic plans. In addition to overseeing programs, he also upholds fiscal integrity and the terms of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), a contract between DEFENSEWERX, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and the Commander, Air University (AU) to facilitate academic and professional opportunities for furthering education and civilian collaboration.
Edwards previously served as Senior Vice President for Military and Community Development at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce where he was responsible for developing public-private partnerships between the military and local communities to enhance economic, business, workforce development and job opportunities in the River Region.
While in the Air Force, Edwards has served in enterprise-wide and regional Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) positions. In his final Air Force assignment, he served as CFO for an $80 billion United States Air Force budget portfolio that funded daily operating expenses, military and civilian payroll, facilities, infrastructure, and working capital for a 325,000-person workforce at 79 locations worldwide. He identified threats and vulnerabilities to the Air Force budget and developed budget cash-flow countermeasures that mitigated a $3.6 billion-shortfall to keep the Air Force solvent. He led root-cause analysis efforts that revamped the Air Force military personnel cost model that reaped $450 million in savings and coordinated strategies to manage prices, upper and lower cash limits, cash-on-hand and profit and loss within the $23 billion Air Force Working Capital Fund. He served as CFO and lead programmer for U.S. Air Force Space Command, planning, programming, and aligning its $10 billion budget with future U.S. space strategies.
Edwards has extensive U.S. Congressional experience and served as the Chief of Congressional Affairs for the Air Force. As a Congressional Fellow to a U.S. Congressman, his portfolio included trade, economic development, and aid policies between the United States and African countries, and he penned legislation supporting a new trade-aid concept for the U.S. He is experienced in Latin America. In Bogota, Colombia, he was guest speaker and consultant to the Colombian Air Force, providing expertise on enlisted military workforce professional development. In Guatemala, he implemented the first-ever regional military education summit, co-sponsored by his organization and the Guatemalan Air Force comprising seven other Latin countries. In Afghanistan he negotiated a historic $182 million pay-raise for Afghan National Security Forces and implemented initiatives that enhanced recruitment and retention enabling the Afghan military to grow its force.
Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from North Carolina A&T University, a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Air University. He also has completed coursework at Georgetown University, The Darden School of Business at University of Virginia and The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.