Major General Donald Alston, Retired

Senior Fellow

Major General (Ret.) C. Donald Alston is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Foundation.

General Alston retired from service in the U.S. Air Force in 2012.
His 34-year career included service as an ICBM squadron, group, wing and numbered air force commander, and culminated as commander of 20th Air Force and U.S. Strategic Command Task Force 214.

General Alston served as the Director of Air, Space and Information Operations, Air Force Space Command, Director of Strategic Communications and Spokesman for Multi National Force – Iraq, and as the first Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration on the Air Staff.

General Alston was the director of the Air Force Nuclear Task Force responsible for producing the institutional roadmap, “Reinvigorating the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise.” As the 20th AF commander he also authored “Twentieth Air Force Vector: The State of the Force and Priorities to Enhance our Culture of Critical Self-Assessment.”

Career Highlights


Strategic Assessments & Planning

Strategic Deterrence

Employment of Nuclear Weapons


General Alston earned his BS at the Air Force Academy and holds an MBA from Golden Gate University. He is also a graduate of the National Security Management Course at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; 6-Sigma AFSO Leadership course from the University of Tennessee; and the Senior Executives in National and International Security Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.