uscga badge
Search
Close this search box.

Jennifer M. Runion, M.S., Commander, USCG

Government, Instructor Department of Government School of Science, Mathematics and the Humanities
cga badge CDR Jen Runion is a 2002 Graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, where she earned a B.S. degree in Government, International Affairs Track. She is a permanent Cutterman with more than eight years afloat, and a secondary career competency in International Affairs. Her first tour was aboard CGC MORGENTHAU out of Alameda, California as Deck Watch Officer, followed by a tour as Executive Officer of CGC ORCAS out of Coos Bay, Oregon. She then served as a Command Duty Officer and Search and Rescue Controller at District Thirteen in Seattle, Washington before returning to sea as Operations Officer on CGC GALLATIN in Charleston, South Carolina. CDR Runion then studied French and Portuguese at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia in preparation for a tour as an International Port Security Liaison Officer (IPSLO) at Activities Europe in Schinnen, the Netherlands, coordinating more than 40 international engagements on four continents. Following that tour, CDR Runion served as Executive Officer of CGC ACTIVE in Port Angeles, Washington. CDR Runion earned a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2020.

Education

  • M.S. in Foreign Service (Global Politics and Security concentration), Georgetown University

Courses Taught

  • International Relations
  • Global Challenges
  • Transnational Threats and Challenges

Selected Presentations

  • “Protect Western Hemisphere Fish” Naval Institute Proceedings, February 2021
  • “The Art of Diplomacy: Protecting Maritime Commerce at Home and Abroad,” Coast Guard Academy Alumni Bulletin, December 2017 and the NATO Gazette, January 2018
  • “Administrative Success is an Online Uphill Battle,” Naval Institute Proceedings, December 2018.

Honors

  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3x)
  • Coast Guard Achievement Medal
  • Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

Contact Information

Sponsor Family Application

Thank you for submitting your application to be part of the Sponsor Family Program. Your application will be processed in the upcoming week. Coast Guard Academy’s policy on background screening now requires all adults (everyone 18 and older living in the home) who volunteer to mentor, teach, coach or sponsor cadets, whether on or off Coast Guard Academy grounds, to be screened every 5 years. They are required to provide personal information (name, birth date and social security number) for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check.

The Security Officer at the Coast Guard Academy, CWO2 Gina Polkowski, is overseeing this process. Her email is: Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.

Sponsor Family designations fall into several different categories. Below are the guidelines to help you determine how best to meet the background screening requirement:

  1. If you are Coast Guard active duty you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  2. If you are a Civilian working for the Coast Guard you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  3. If you are non-Coast Guard Active Duty, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  4. If you are non-Coast Guard civilian who has a current security clearance or National Agency check, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  5. All civilians in the families who are 18 years or older and do not have a security clearance or a National Agency Check are required to be vetted through Mind Your Business, the third party vendor hired by the Coast Guard Academy for the vetting process.

After you complete your application, please e-mail the Sponsor Family Program Coordinator at CadetFamilySponsorProgram@uscga.edu. In your e-mail, you must include the e-mail address and phone number of every adult living in the home. The Sponsor Family Coordinator will then initiate the background check process and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Important things to note:

There is a Sponsor Family Training that is a one-hour training which we ask sponsors to attend once every four years. This training is designed to give you an overview of the program, what is expected of you as a sponsor, and what you can expect from your cadets. This training will also help familiarize you with the cadet regulations onboard CGA. You will be notified via e-mail once the training is scheduled.

The matching process of swabs to families will occur during July and August. Please bear with us and remain flexible through this process. There will be a meet and greet scheduled on Campus, typically in late August. This will give families an opportunity to formally meet their cadet if they have not already done so. Details on this will also be via email.

CGA Badge
Links from these pages to non-Coast Guard sites are provided as a customer service and do not represent any implicit or explicit endorsement by the United States Coast Guard of any commercial or private issues or products presented there.