After completing over 35 years of service Vice Admiral Nancy E. Brown retired from her position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems, The Joint Staff. Since retiring on 1 October 2009, she has served as an Outside Director of Systematic Software Engineering, Inc, on the Board of Advisors for Enlightened, Inc, The EDGE, and Kingfisher. She is on the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Institute, is Chair of the Board of Directors of Homeward Deployed, and an Executive Committee Member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). She also works as an independent consultant for various Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence-focused companies.

Raised in Marion, Illinois, she is a 1973 graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Following completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1974, Vice Admiral Brown reported to her first duty station, Naval Communications Station, Norfolk, Virginia, serving as Communications Watch Officer, followed by Automation Officer and Personnel Officer. She then served as the Special Projects and Manpower Requirements Officer at the Naval Telecommunications Command in Washington, D.C.

After her tour in Washington, Vice Admiral Brown attended Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in Communications Systems Management. She was then assigned to the Defense Commercial Communications Office at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Illinois. From this joint assignment, Vice Admiral Brown attended the Naval War College and was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. Her follow-on assignment was as the Officer in Charge, Naval Radio and Receiving Facility, Kami Seya, Japan. Returning from overseas, Vice Admiral Brown was assigned to the Joint Tactical Command, Control and Communications Agency in Washington, D.C.. After this second joint tour, she was assigned as the Executive Officer at the Naval Communications Station in San Diego, California, and devoted a major segment of this tour to the establishment of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, San Diego. Following this tour, Vice Admiral Brown attended the Senior Course at the Army War College, Carlyle, Pennsylvania.

In August 1993, Vice Admiral Brown assumed command of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Cutler, Downeast, Maine. After completing her command tour, she was assigned in August 1995 to the National Security Council staff at the White House. In July 1997, Vice Admiral Brown assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia. Completing her command tour in June 1999, she returned to the White House as the Deputy Director, White House Military Office. In October 2000, she reported to the Chief of Naval Operations as Deputy Director and Fleet Liaison, Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control (N6B). In August 2002, she assumed duties as Vice Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (J6), the Joint Staff. In August 2004 she deployed to Iraq becoming the first Multi-National Force–Iraq C6 headquartered in Baghdad and returned to the Joint Staff in April 2005. In August 2005 Vice Admiral Brown assumed the duties as J6 Director for both North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command. In August 2006, she assumed her last active duty position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4 Systems), The Joint Staff.

Vice Admiral Brown’s decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Legion of Merit (with Gold Star), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (with two Bronze Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars).