A native of Springfield, Ohio, Rear Admiral Deborah Loewer received a Bachelor of Science in theoretical mathematics and computer science from nearby Wright State University. She went directly to Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, where in 1976 she graduated first in a class of 110; she was the first female battalion commander there. Her first assignment was as Pay and Allowance Functional Manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1979 she graduated first at Surface Warfare Officer Basic Course; she was one of the first woman officers in Surface Warfare.
She was sent to the USS Yosemite (AD-19), a destroyer tender, where she served as electrical division officer, operations officer, navigator, and administrative officer. On the USS Yellowstone (AD-41) she served as engineer and executive officer. As a Commander, she served as commanding officer of the ammunition ship USS Mount Baker (AE-34). As a Captain, she served as commanding officer of the fleet oiler USS Camden (AOE-2). These assignments were good preparation for her eventual position at Military Sealift Command.
Her shore assignments included military assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense White and Secretary of Defense Cohen. It was a just a short trip to an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, but it changed the world. Admiral Loewer was traveling with President Bush on September 9, 2011 and informed the President of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. At the time she was Director, White House Situation Room and Director, Systems and Technical Planning Staff. She served as technical adviser on Oliver Stone’s movie “W”.
She left the White House to become Vice Commander, Military Sealift Command (MSC). MSC is a global transportation agency with a workforce of more than 8,000 and a fleet of more than 120 active ships whose primary mission is to move U S military cargo for deployed U S forces. In 2005 she became Commander, Mine Warfare Command. She retired in 2007.
Selected as an Olmstead Scholar, she studied at the Defense Language Institute and the Goethe Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in international law from the University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany in 1986.
She has been awarded Distinguished Service Medal with gold star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and numerous other awards.
Since retirement she has acted as Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Intelligence & Analysis, the chief intelligence officer, at the Department of Homeland Security.