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Norfolk Naval Shipyard welcomes new commander, first female to lead shipyard

Capt. Dianna Wolfson becomes the 110th commander and the first female to lead the shipyard in its 253-year history.
Credit: US Navy

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Norfolk Naval Shipyard welcomed its new commander and the first female to lead the shipyard in its 253-year history, the Navy announced Friday in a news release.

Capt. Dianna Wolfson becomes the 110th commander of the shipyard. Capt. Wolfson was also the first female commander at her previous post, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Kitsap County, Washington.

The shipyard in Portsmouth is a familiar place to Capt. Wolfson. She had previous assignments as an operations officer and project superintendent for the engineered overhaul of the USS Newport News (SSN 750).

“Captain Wolfson is truly the right leader at the right time for NNSY,” said departing Shipyard Commander Rear Admiral Howard Markle in the news release. 

“Her deep sense of care and commitment to our Navy and the NNSY workforce will be at the forefront of meeting the shipyard’s priorities of developing our people and delivering on our mission.”  

Under Wolfson's command, the shipyard will undergo significant changes, including an upgrade to its facilities and modernizing its technology in ship repair, the Navy said.

The Navy said Wolfson will implement four key areas of focus: leadership performance, organizational culture, employee development, and mission execution.

“One phrase I will use often because I truly believe in its importance is ‘One Mission, One Team,’” said Wolfson. 

“We have one mission—to forge every opportunity to preserve our national security and gain a competitive advantage to be the shipyard our Navy needs through our exceptional, safe, timely and cost-conscious delivery of our warships.  Together, we are in the mission of relentlessly chasing best performance in the stewardship of our nation’s naval assets.”

Wolfson's experience includes earning her surface warfare qualification while serving on USS George Washington (CVN 73) from 1998 to 2001 and later serving on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) from 2007 to 2009. 

She also has a deep knowledge of submarines, including roles as assistant project superintendent, docking officer and nuclear zone manager at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine from 2004 to 2007.