George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Cotton, John G.

Academic Unit:Management
Position:Adjunct Faculty, EMBA
Office Location:Founders Hall 402A
Office Hours:By appointment
  • BS, U.S. Naval Academy

John Cotton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and then earned his Naval Aviator wings to became a third generation pilot.  His father was also a Naval Aviator and his grandfather flew with the Lafayette Flying Corps in World War I. 

Accumulating over 15,000 flight hours as a Navy and commercial airline pilot, his global joint experience includes assignments as a light attack, reconnaissance, strike fighter and adversary pilot, and command leadership positions of an FA-18 squadron, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, and the Pentagon Navy Command Center.  He most recently served in the Pentagon as Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander Navy Reserve Force, and then worked for DRS Technologies as a Corporate Senior Vice President.

Previous Flag Officer assignments include Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia; Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Warfare Requirements and Programs; and member of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board.  Personal military awards include the Navy Distinguished Service, Legion of Merit and Defense Meritorious Service Medals.  He is a graduate of the George Mason University Executive Masters in Business Administration program, as well as Executive and Reserve Component programs at the Naval War College, Army War College, Naval Postgraduate School, National Defense University, Harvard University, MIT and UNC Chapel Hill.

He is a defense and security consultant and serves as a member of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board, a Senior Fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College, and as an Emeritus Volunteer Trustee at the Vinson Hall Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation.