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Mark Esper

U.S. U.S. Secretary of Defense U.S. Secretary of Defense (2019 - Present)

Quick Facts
Personal Details

Mark Esper is the secretary of defense for the U.S. Department of Defense. President Donald Trump (R) nominated him to this position on July 15, 2019. The U.S. Senate confirmed him by a vote of 90-8 on July 23, 2019. He was sworn in the same day.

At the time of Esper's nomination, he was serving as acting defense secretary. He resigned upon being nominated, as federal law prohibits the nominee for defense secretary to serve in the role during the nomination process. Richard Spencer replaced Esper as acting defense secretary.

The secretary of defense oversees the military departments, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the unified commands. According to the Department of Defense's website, "The military departments train and equip the military forces. The Chairman plans and coordinates military deployments and operations. The unified commands conduct the military operations."

Esper was the secretary of the United States Army from 2017 to 2019. He served on active duty for over a decade, after which he served in the National Guard and Army Reserve.

Esper earned a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1986. He received his master's degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1995 and his Ph.D. in public policy from George Washington University in 2008.


Education

  • PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University, 1997-2008
  • MPA, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-1995
  • BS, Engineering, United States Military Academy, 1982-1986

Professional Experience

  • PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University, 1997-2008
  • MPA, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-1995
  • BS, Engineering, United States Military Academy, 1982-1986
  • Served, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army
  • Former National Policy Director, Fred Thompson Presidential Campaign
  • Former Chief of Staff, The Heritage Foundation
  • Served, United States Army Reserves
  • Secretary of the Army, United States Department of Defense, 2017-2019
  • Acting Secretary, United States Department of Defense, 2019
  • Vice President, Government Relations, Raytheon Company, 2010-2017
  • Vice President, Europe and Eurasian Affairs, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Executive Vice President, Global Intellectual Property Center, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Strategic Studies, Virginia Campus, Missouri State University, 2006-2010
  • Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of Defense and International Affairs, Aerospace Industries Association, 2006-2007
  • National Security Advisor, Office of United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 2004-2006
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Negotiations Policy, United States Department of Defense, 2002-2004
  • Policy Director, Armed Services Committee, United States House of Representatives, 2001-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Government Affairs Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002

Political Experience

  • PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University, 1997-2008
  • MPA, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-1995
  • BS, Engineering, United States Military Academy, 1982-1986
  • Served, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army
  • Former National Policy Director, Fred Thompson Presidential Campaign
  • Former Chief of Staff, The Heritage Foundation
  • Served, United States Army Reserves
  • Secretary of the Army, United States Department of Defense, 2017-2019
  • Acting Secretary, United States Department of Defense, 2019
  • Vice President, Government Relations, Raytheon Company, 2010-2017
  • Vice President, Europe and Eurasian Affairs, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Executive Vice President, Global Intellectual Property Center, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Strategic Studies, Virginia Campus, Missouri State University, 2006-2010
  • Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of Defense and International Affairs, Aerospace Industries Association, 2006-2007
  • National Security Advisor, Office of United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 2004-2006
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Negotiations Policy, United States Department of Defense, 2002-2004
  • Policy Director, Armed Services Committee, United States House of Representatives, 2001-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Government Affairs Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002
  • Secretary, United States Department of Defense, 2019-present
  • Former Legislative Director & Senior Policy Advisor, Office of United States Senator Chuck Hagel
  • Nominated by President Donald Trump, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, July 15th, 2019
  • Confirmed by the United States Senate, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, July 23rd, 2019

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University, 1997-2008
  • MPA, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-1995
  • BS, Engineering, United States Military Academy, 1982-1986
  • Served, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army
  • Former National Policy Director, Fred Thompson Presidential Campaign
  • Former Chief of Staff, The Heritage Foundation
  • Served, United States Army Reserves
  • Secretary of the Army, United States Department of Defense, 2017-2019
  • Acting Secretary, United States Department of Defense, 2019
  • Vice President, Government Relations, Raytheon Company, 2010-2017
  • Vice President, Europe and Eurasian Affairs, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Executive Vice President, Global Intellectual Property Center, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Strategic Studies, Virginia Campus, Missouri State University, 2006-2010
  • Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of Defense and International Affairs, Aerospace Industries Association, 2006-2007
  • National Security Advisor, Office of United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 2004-2006
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Negotiations Policy, United States Department of Defense, 2002-2004
  • Policy Director, Armed Services Committee, United States House of Representatives, 2001-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002
  • Senior Professional Staff Member, Government Affairs Committee, United States Senate, 1998-2002
  • Secretary, United States Department of Defense, 2019-present
  • Former Legislative Director & Senior Policy Advisor, Office of United States Senator Chuck Hagel
  • Nominated by President Donald Trump, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, July 15th, 2019
  • Confirmed by the United States Senate, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, July 23rd, 2019
  • Former Assistant Scout Leader, Boy Scouts of America
  • Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Commissioner, United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2006-2008
  • Member, Industry Trade Advisory Groups, United States Department of State and United States Department of Commerce, 2006-2007

Other Info

— Awards:

  • Top Corporate Lobbyist (The Hill, 2015, 2016)
  • Medal for Distinguished Public Service (US Department of Defense, 2004)
  • Legion of Merit (United States Army, 2007)
  • Bronze Star Medal (101st Airborne Division, United States Army, 1991)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal-Saudi Arabia
  • Combat Infantryman Badge (101st Airborne Division, United States Army, 1991)