Institute Leadership

Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders (Ret.), Executive Director

Major General Mary Saunders speaking on stage in front of a TWU podium with a U.S. flag behind her.

TWU alumna Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders (Ret.) leads Texas Woman’s University’s Institute for Women’s Leadership in Denton. She was the first female general officer selected as the director of transportation in the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity, she provided guidance for 32,000 active duty and civilian personnel and was responsible for a fleet of 115,000 vehicles.

Saunders is a native Texan, born in Nacogdoches and educated in Houston. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Texas Woman’s University and her Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Rider University in New Jersey. She also attended the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

Saunders was named Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumnae in 1998 and a TWU Woman of Distinction in 2000. She also was one of five women inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.