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Won Palisoul

Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense

’16SPS, Nonprofit Management

Won Palisoul is the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (P&R) at the Pentagon.  P&R is the principal staff element at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for all human resources, human capital development, and personnel logistics matters with a customer base of approximately 4.3 million servicemembers, veterans and military families and 800 thousand civilian employees.  Won assists with force readiness; total force management; health affairs; force management; health affairs; National Guard and Reserve component affairs; education and training; and military and civilian personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and quality of life matters.

Prior to joining the DoD, Won was an Associate Director of Investment Bank Compliance and Operational Risk Control at UBS and a Certified Fraud Examiner.  She also served as a Senior Compliance Officer of $4 billion AUM credit-focused asset management firm and was a Compliance Examiner at an SRO for the U.S. derivatives industry.  Won’s SRO examiner responsibilities included other-the-counter derivatives, swap dealer compliance programs, and implementation and adherence to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Previously, she was an Office Manager for a retirement fund with $6 billion AUM and in 2012, she was named a Veteran Associate at the New York Stock Exchange.

Won began her career as a Gas Turbine Technician (Electrical) in the U.S Navy, serving aboard guided missile destroyers and was forward deployed in the Pacific region for Operation Enduring Freedom.  After eight years of service, she received an honorable discharge and founded a small business that she ran for four years prior to transitioning into the financial sector.  Given her passion for the veterans community, she founded the Women Veterans and Families Network.  Won is the Chair of Veterans Roundtable at CFA Society New York and the Co-Lead of Women Veterans on Wall Street, a subcommittee of Veterans on Wall Street.  She works with senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits to facilitate roundtable discussions and best practices forums on hiring military veterans and military spouses.

Won holds an M.A. in Information Technology Management from Webster University.  She is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS), where she earned an M.S. in Nonprofit Management.  Won is an adjunct associate faculty member and serves as an Alumni Advisory Council member at SPS.  She was recently honored at the SPS virtual graduation ceremony with the 2021 Alumni Dean’s Excellence Award for her professional accomplishments, service to the alumni community, and engagement and support of the School since graduating in 2016. Won resides in NYC with her husband, who is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and two children.


M.S., Columbia University

M.A., Webster University

B.S., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale