Leadership and Staff


Program Director:  Roderick M. Cox

Roderick M. Cox joined the Simons Center in March 2016. Prior to joining the Simons Center, Cox was a consultant providing personal career guidance and business management advice, a speaker at civic, philanthropic, and educational organizations on leadership, management, and security policy, and a volunteer assisting various organizations that support veterans, school children, and the homeless in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

In 2013 and 2014, Cox served as a district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration responsible for the Kansas City District which served the four million citizens in Missouri and Kansas. He also served on the Greater Kansas City Federal Executive Board fostering interagency cooperation and focusing on veterans in government service issues.

Prior to the SBA Cox served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for more than 32 years as an artilleryman, foreign area officer, professor, and historian, retiring in August 2013. His service included numerous joint, combined, and interagency operations both in the United States and overseas.

Cox earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. He currently serves on the board of the University of Missouri Military Veterans Alumni Association. Cox is also a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the Disabled American Veterans.


Program Assistant:  Elizabeth Ditsch

Elizabeth is responsible for the daily operations of Simons Center office and assists in the coordination of Simons Center events. She is also the managing editor of the Simons Center’s publications, maintains the Simons Center’s website and assists in coordinating undergraduate and graduate level internships.