Nonprofit News

Bob Hope USO Welcomes Charlene Downey as new Executive Director

  The USO, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation, is proud to announce Charlene Downey as the new Bob Hope USO Executive Director. Downey is a certified professional executive leadership coach and former U.S. Coast Guard Senior Officer with more than 30 years of experience in leadership, military operations, crisis/emergency management, and human capital and volunteer management.

Downey will lead the Bob Hope USO team of 12 staff and over 450 volunteers in delivering USO programs, services and outreach, from seven USO centers at Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne International Airport, Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs International Airport, March Air Reserve Base Joint Deployment Center, Fort Irwin National Training Center and Military Entrance Processing Stations LA, to more than two dozen major military installations across 51,000-square miles of Southern and Central California.

A career Coast Guard officer, Charlene’s last assignment was as the commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach and Captain of the Port of the largest container port complex in the country.

”We are thrilled to welcome Charlene Downey as the Executive Director of Bob Hope USO,” said Bob Kurkjian. “With her impressive military career, Charlene comes to us with first hand experience as a USO customer and will serve as an essential asset in deepening the USO’s impact in the military community.”

During her time in the Coast Guard, Downey was Commanding Officer for the Maritime Safety & Security Team in San Pedro, leading a deployable unit of 120 members specializing in advanced interdiction, security, law enforcement, anti-terrorism and force protection missions.

While serving as commander of Coast Guard Sector LA- LB, Downey was the senior Federal official responsible for maritime operations stretching over 350 miles of coastline, stewardship of an annual budget of $1.5M, , as well as a workforce of almost 2,000, which included 1,300 volunteers. In her most recent role, Downey served as owner and CEO of SeeWorthy Coaching & Consulting LLC in Westminster, CA.

”I am honored to join Bob Hope USO at a time where giving support and showing our appreciation for America’s military service members and their families means so much,” said Charlene Downey. “I look forward to continuing to champion the hard work of our troops and leading the incredibly passionate and dedicated team of USO staff and volunteers.”

Downey’s extensive education includes a Bachelor of Science in Management from the US Coast Guard Academy, a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and an Associate Certified  Coach  credential gained in 2021.

The USO works to provide morale-boosting and family-strengthening programs to active-duty and reserve military service members and their families around the world, including in Greater Los Angeles and surrounding areas. To donate, volunteer or explore partnership opportunities with Bob Hope USO, please visit Bob Hope USO.


About the USO:
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, the support of our corporate partners, and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To Top