Dr. Charles “Chas” Kelker currently serves as the Europe Region Chief of Staff for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). Prior to his current position, Dr. Kelker served as the Chief of Education Policy and Operations at DoDEA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, from May 2017 to November 2019.
DoDEA is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD). DoDEA is globally positioned, operating 166 accredited schools in 8 districts located in 11 foreign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA employs approximately 15,000 employees who serve more than 71,100 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families.
Previously, Dr. Kelker served as the DoDEA Pacific Chief of Staff, located at Torii Station in Okinawa, Japan, from November 2008 to May 2017. During his tenure with DoDEA Pacific, he was involved in the opening and closing of DoDEA schools in support of military transformation actions taking place across the Pacific-region. This included staffing, student meal programs, transportation, public affairs and procuring furniture and equipment to support schools.
Prior to joining DoDEA, Kelker was the Deputy Director, Manpower, Personnel and Support (J1), Headquarters United States Forces Japan at Yokota Air Base. He retired from the United States Air Force in February 2006 with 32 years of distinguished service in uniform and continued his federal service as a DoD civilian.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Dr. Kelker grew up in an Army family and spent his formative years living in various locations around the world. Dr. Kelker graduated in 1973 from a DoDEA school in Berlin, Germany. He went on to enlist in the USAF in August 1974 and has since earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational education from Wayland Baptist University, a master’s in human resources development from Webster University and a doctorate in education from Northcentral University.
Dr. Kelker is married to Regina Kelker who retired from the USAF during her final assignment as Director of Public Affairs at the Air Intelligence Agency in San Antonio, Texas. They have two sons and a daughter.