More About Captain Risner's Experience


Retired U.S. Navy Captain with 29 years of active duty service, leadership, problem-solving and program management experience operating overseas and in the U.S.

Track record of team building, and organizational and mission development in dynamic environments.

Direct experience in cooperative ventures between multinational military and civilian organizations seeking to optimize effectiveness and achieve common objectives, especially as related to maritime security.  


Foreign Area Officer (Asia and Europe) with expertise in government liaison, collaborative planning, and interagency cooperation. Experience working as a member of the U.S. Country Team at two Embassies for 6 years. Facility management expertise resulting from command of a Naval Support Activity in Italy for 2 years. Language familiarity in Dutch, Bahasa and Italian. Served as President of a professional association of women military officers.

Commanding Officer, Maritime  Civil Affairs and Security Training Command (MCAST):

CAPT Risner led the merger of two commands, MCAG and Expeditionary Training Command, to better synchronize efforts, optimize effectiveness in mission accomplishment, and decrease costs with minimal disruption while maintaining full operational commitments. She developed and coordinated these two new Navy capabilities with other navies and other U.S. and international agencies while supporting over 400 personnel including tactical teams deployed world-wide conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maritime training operations.


Commodore, Maritime Civil   Affairs Group (MCAG):

CAPT Risner was recruited as the U.S. Navy’s senior Foreign Area Officer to lead the new command created to work with diverse agencies and stakeholders focused on maritime security cooperation and stabilization. She directed a staff and two subordinate squadrons - located in San Diego, CA, and Yorktown, VA – of over 400 personnel to man, train and equip 32 five-person tactical teams deployed world-wide to conduct joint and navy civil affairs, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR). She developed a comprehensive training program; created brand name recognition; and liaised with other military governmental, non-profit and foreign navies while maturing the U.S. Navy’s newest expeditionary capability.

NATO Policy Advisor, Warfare Policy Branch, OPNAV, Washington, D.C.:

 CAPT Risner developed and briefed the U.S. Navy’s senior leadership on options for the most widespread reorganization of NATO’s naval command structure since its inception. Briefs and discussions included an accurate distillation of complex issues, thorough understanding of cultural differences and articulation of political and military objectives which facilitated decision-making. She was trusted by the most senior leadership to give recommendations. 

Commanding Officer, Naval Support  Activity, La Maddalena, Italy:

CDR Risner commanded the naval base that supported ten tenant commands, a home-ported submarine tender, embarked submarine squadron and visiting operational units of the Sixth Fleet, submarines and ships in upkeep and a U.S. community totaling 2,800.  She led 410 military, U.S. and Italian civilian and contractor personnel who provided personnel housing, transportation, and physical security of facilities. She developed a cooperative professional relationship with the local Italian mayors and the business community.

Chief, Navy Section, Office of Defense Cooperation, American Embassy, the Hague, The Netherlands:

CDR Risner administered security assistance programs with the Royal Netherlands Navy in support of U.S. military objectives and national security interests. She managed foreign military sales cases valued at $800 million and closed the single largest USN sale to the RNLN in 20 years. She supervised the largest military training program in Europe and expanded the science and technology data exchange program between the USN and RNLN and related academic and defense industry R&D organizations. 

Executive Officer, Navy Recruiting  District, Albuquerque, NM:

LCDR Risner managed 161 personnel and 20 recruiting officers dispersed across 210,000 sq miles of NM and AZ and achieved navy recruiting goals for both officer and enlisted personnel. She liaised with academic faculty at high schools and community colleges, Rotary Clubs, the Navy League and civic organizations to create a partnership for providing career opportunities in the Navy to qualified and motivated young women and men.

 Officer in Charge, Military Sealift Command Unit, Diego Garcia:

LCDR Risner led the command that provided full husbandry support to 14 forward-deployed, pre-positioned contracted military sealift ships and the embarked squadron. She facilitated their operations during the US humanitarian sealift mission to Somalia – Operation Restore Hope. She conducted liaison between the British Navy BIOT representatives, the U.S. Merchant Marines and USN in logistical, operational, and judicial matters.

Naval Attaché,

American Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

CAPT Risner served as the Senior Advisor to the Ambassador and heads of US. Agencies on maritime security matters, and liaised with the Royal Malaysian Navy and other foreign navy representatives in country. Her coordination and leadership resulted in the highest ever naval engagement tempo between the USN and RMN which significantly contributed to increased maritime security and a 75% decrease in piracy attacks in the Straits of Malacca and tri-border region. She provided strategic guidance for operational planning, diplomatic engagement, multinational collaboration, and produced intelligence reports of significant value.