The United States under secretary of defense for policy (USDP) is a high level civilian official in the United States Department of Defense. The under secretary of defense for policy is the principal staff assistant and adviser to both the secretary of defense and the deputy secretary of defense for all matters concerning the formation of national security and defense policy.
|Under Secretary of Defense for Policy|
|United States Department of Defense|
Office of the Secretary of Defense
|Style||Mr Under Secretary|
|Reports to||Secretary of Defense|
Deputy Secretary of Defense
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|First holder||Stanley Rogers Resor|
|Succession||5th in SecDef succession|
|Deputy||Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level III|
The under secretary is normally appointed from civilian life by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The incumbent under secretary is Colin Kahl, who was confirmed by the Senate on 27 April 2021, and sworn in the following day.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is the principal staff element of the secretary of defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluation responsibilities, the rank of Under Secretary, the USD(P) is a Level III position within the Executive Schedule.
Officials reporting to the USD(P) include:
The assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities (ASD(SPC)) is responsible for national security and defense strategy, leading the National Defense Strategy, nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy, security cooperation plans and policies, and force design and development planning.
The assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs (ASD(ISA)) is responsible for international security strategy, defense policy, and oversight of security cooperation programs and foreign military sales programs relating to Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia, Eurasia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.
The assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and the assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs (AD(HDGS)) are responsible for the policy, strategy, and implementation guidance for national and global security issues across countering weapons of mass destruction, cyber operations, homeland defense activities, antiterrorism, continuity of government and mission assurance, defense support to civil authorities, and space-related matters. The AD(HDGS) is also responsible for the Protected Critical Infrastructure Program (PCII), the Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative, and the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP).
The assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)) is responsible for the policy, resources, strategic capabilities and force transformation, and oversight of special operations and low-intensity conflict matters of the United States Department of Defense across counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, civil affairs, information and psychological operations, and counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs (ASD(IPSA)) is responsible for international security strategy, defense policy, and oversight of security cooperation programs relating to the Asia-Pacific region.
The assistant secretary of defense for space policy (ASD(SP)) is responsible for the overall supervision of DoD policy for space warfighting.
The director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is responsible for the personnel recovery of United States Department of Defense personnel who are listed as prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA), from all past wars and conflicts around the world.
The director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency is responsible for providing allies and partner nations with financial and technical assistance, transfer of defense matériel, training, and the promotion of military-to-military contacts.
The director of the Defense Technology Security Administration is responsible for the formulation and enforcement of technology security policies related to international transfers of defense-related goods, services, and technologies.
|Portrait||Name||Tenure||SecDef(s) served under||President(s) served under|
|Stanley Rogers Resor||14 August 1978 – 1 April 1979||Harold Brown||Jimmy Carter|
|Robert Komer||24 October 1979 – 20 January 1981|
|Fred Iklé||2 April 1981 – 19 February 1988||Caspar Weinberger
|Paul Wolfowitz||15 May 1989 – 19 January 1993||Dick Cheney||George H. W. Bush|
|Frank G. Wisner||6 July 1993 – 9 June 1994||Les Aspin
|Walter B. Slocombe||15 September 1994 – 19 January 2001||William Perry|
|Douglas J. Feith||16 July 2001 – 8 August 2005||Donald Rumsfeld||George W. Bush|
|Eric S. Edelman||9 February 2006 – 20 January 2009||Donald Rumsfeld|
|Michèle Flournoy||9 February 2009 – 3 February 2012||Robert Gates
|James N. Miller||18 February 2012 – 8 January 2014||Leon Panetta|
|Michael D. Lumpkin (acting)||9 January 2014 – 23 June 2014||Chuck Hagel|
|Christine Wormuth||23 June 2014 – 10 June 2016||Chuck Hagel|
|Brian P. McKeon||12 June 2016 – 20 January 2017||Ash Carter|
|20 January 2017 – 5 June 2017||James Mattis||Donald Trump|
|Robert S. Karem
|5 June 2017 – 27 October 2017|
|David Trachtenberg (acting)||27 October 2017 – 8 January 2018|
|John Rood||9 January 2018 – 28 February 2020||James Mattis|
|James Anderson (acting)||1 March 2020 – 10 November 2020|
|Anthony Tata (performing the duties of)||10 November 2020 – 20 January 2021||Christopher C. Miller (acting)|
|Amanda J. Dory (performing the duties of)||20 January 2021 – 28 April 2021||Lloyd Austin||Joe Biden|
|Colin Kahl||28 April 2021 – Present|
The Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is the chief staff assistant to the USD(P). Originally established as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1992–93 (P.L. 102–190), the post was re-designated Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), or PDUSD(P) in December 1999 by DoD Directive 5111.3. The PDUSD(P) provides advice and assistance to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and USD(P) on national security policy, military strategy, and defense policy.
|Name||Tenure||USD(P) served under||SecDef(s) served under||President(s) served under|
|I. Lewis Libby||12 August 1992 – 10 January 1993||Paul Wolfowitz||Dick Cheney||George H. W. Bush|
|Walter B. Slocombe||1 June 1993 – 14 September 1994||Frank G. Wisner||Les Aspin
William J. Perry
|Jan M. Lodal||3 October 1994 – 30 September 1998||Walter B. Slocombe||William J. Perry|
William S. Cohen
|James M. Bodner||1 October 1998 – 19 January 2001||William S. Cohen|
|Stephen A. Cambone||25 July 2001 – 1 July 2002||Douglas Feith||Donald H. Rumsfeld||George W. Bush|
|Christopher "Ryan" Henry||7 February 2003 – August 2008||Douglas Feith
Eric S. Edelman
|Donald H. Rumsfeld|
Robert M. Gates
|James N. Miller||2 April 2009 – 18 February 2012||Michele Flournoy||Robert M. Gates||Barack Obama|
|Elissa Slotkin||2 April 2009 – 18 February 2012||Michael D. Lumpkin
|Kathleen H. Hicks||25 May 2012 – July 2013||James N. Miller||Chuck Hagel|
|Brian P. McKeon||28 July 2014 – 10 June 2016||Christine Wormuth||Ash Carter|
|David B. Shear||14 July 2015 – 19 January 2017||Brian P. McKeon|
|David Trachtenberg||18 October 2017 – 22 July 2019||John Rood||James Mattis
|James Anderson||March 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020||vacant||Mark Esper|
|Anthony Tata||July 31, 2020 – November 10, 2020||James Anderson||Mark Esper|
|Thomas M. Williams||November 10, 2020 – January 20, 2021||Anthony Tata||Christopher C. Miller|
|Jennifer C. Walsh (performing the duties of)
Dr. Mara Karlin (performing the duties of)
|20 January 2021 – 14 February 2022||Amanda J. Dory (performing the duties of)
|Lloyd Austin||Joe Biden|
|Sasha Baker||14 February 2022 – present||Colin Kahl|