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Marianne Kramer, Ph.D. is a 2020 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.


Dr. Marianne Kramer at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Carol Baron, Committee Member, Dr.Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Chair, Dr. Suzanne Kunkel, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Carol Baron, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Suzanne Kunkel, Ph.D., Committee Member


Retirement, Postretirement, Mixed Methods, Baby Boomer, Generativity, Mission-focus, Intelligence Community, Encore Career, Phased Retirement, Bridge Job, Unretirement

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This study focused on baby boomers and explored how a career with a mission-focus in the Intelligence Community influenced boomer generativity and subsequent choices after retirement. Baby boomers make-up the majority of the population that is retirement eligible today and have the benefit of a longer life expectancy commensurate with improvements in health care over the past century. Current retirement literature covers a range of options that redefine what retirement means today. This study employed a two-phase mixed method approach to investigate the characteristics and impacts of a mission-focused career, and to understand how such experiences impact postretirement opportunities and choices. During Phase 1 a survey was administered to 280 retired Intelligence Community members and included an established Social Generativity Scale (SGS) derived by Morselli and Passini (2015). Phase 1 results showed that most respondent’s personal work experience included a range of selfless or service related factors within their work environment, and also identified a high level of social generativity. A series of regression analyses identified the ability to make a difference and a shared sense of purpose as the most significant aspects of an Intelligence Community experience. Additionally participants’ postretirement activities were influenced by their Intelligence Community “mission-focused” work experiences. Their work in the Intelligence Community and sense of generativity positively influenced their choice of activities after retirement. In Phase 2 of the study, focus groups with a subset of survey respondents reflected on the results from Phase 1 as it pertained to their personal lives and choices. Stories documented that a strong sense of mission and service persisted in postretirement activities, both formal work roles as well as a strong sense of volunteerism. Despite study limitations, positive implications for future studies looking across different population segments provide an avenue to further explore these relationships between selfless work experiences as a component of postretirement directions. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,



Marianne Kramer, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0003-1976-2390

Dr. Marianne Kramer self-identifies as a career public servant with over 30 years supporting the Defense Department (DoD) and the Intelligence Community (IC). While her career has been defined by increasing levels of responsibility working in a range of activities supporting the geospatial needs of DoD and the IC, she is proudest of her involvement in the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that brought about the end to the war in Bosnia.

Marianne spent the majority of her career at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio as well as a substantial amount of time in the Washington DC area supporting various scientific and technical research programs.

Marianne double majored in Humanities and Anthropology, receiving a BA from Providence College and a Master’s Degree in Analytical Geography from Binghamton University. Dr. Kramer later earned a Master’s Degree and PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University where she focused on understanding how mission-focused work experiences contribute to increased generativity and affect postretirement career choices.

Her outside interests are heavily geared toward volunteerism where she serves as the Executive Director for Maryland Science Olympiad, a non-profit state chapter of the National Science Olympiad organization.

Marianne is married with three adult children.