CAPT Tim Kinsella Jr., USN (Ret)
Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Captain Tim “Lucky” Kinsella, USN (Ret), recently joined the University of West Florida after more than 33 years of service in the United States Navy. As the director of the Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz Center for Leadership in the UWF College of Business, Tim is responsible for leading the effort to build several new executive educational programs, including an Executive MBA with a focus on leadership and an Executive Leadership Seminar Program.
Tim enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and served on submarines for several years before being accepted to the Naval Academy. He subsequently graduated from the Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and went on to become a naval aviator, flying helicopters and specializing in combat search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare. He earned a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego in 2003.
Tim made numerous operational deployments to the Middle East, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Western Pacific, including as commanding officer of a carrier-based helicopter squadron. His duties ashore included service as White House liaison to the secretary of the Navy, flag aide to the deputy chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare, as a division chief in the Joint Operations Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, and as a defense planner for NATO at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Mons, Belgium. During his time with NATO he was responsible for negotiating with member nations on their contributions to the alliance. Tim’s last assignment on active duty was as commanding officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola, where he led the installation through a devastating terrorist attack that claimed three lives and wounded nine others, a catastrophic hurricane that caused more than $500 million in damages, and maintaining the installation’s operational viability through a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, under his leadership NAS Pensacola was awarded the Navy’s Installation Excellence Award as the top large installation across the entire service.
Tim is also passionate about improving educational opportunities for all children. Most recently he partnered with Pensacola State College to create a new dual-enrollment charter high school in Warrington, and led a collaborative effort between the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Escambia County School District, and the Department of Defense to create an intensive STEM program at the National Flight Academy for Title 1 fifth graders across two counties.
Over his career he has received numerous awards, including the Daedalian Award for Distinguished Airmanship, the Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew of the Year Award, the Navy League of the United States John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge George Washington Honor Medal for Public Communications, and the Director of the FBI’s Community Leadership Award.
Tim and his wonderful wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of two energetic young boys. His hobbies include supporting Liverpool Football Club, golf, reading history, attempting to play guitar, gardening and photography.