Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Peter M. Dawkins, a paratrooper, Rhodes Scholar and Heisman Trophy-winning football player turned investment banker, joins the board of directors of Iridium Communications Inc., the Bethesda, Md.-based mobile satellite communications firm announced Nov. 2.

Iridium Chief Executive Officer Matt Desch said Dawkins is a “proven leader in business and the military” who “brings outstanding credentials to Iridium.”

A 1959 graduate of West Point Military Academy, Dawkins served 24 years in the Army, commanding a company in the 82nd Airborne Division, leading a battalion in Korea, and commanding a brigade in the 101st Airborne Division. Following his retirement from the military, he launched his career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers.

Prior to founding his current firm, Shining Star Capital LLC, Dawkins was the vice chairman of Citigroup Private Bank.

Dawkins is no stranger to politics. He has been a White House fellow, served as military assistant to the U.S. deputy secretary of defense, and in 1988 ran for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey, losing to incumbent Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, in the general election.