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Michael B. Donley
22nd Secretary of the Air Force

In office
June 21, 2008 – June 21, 2013
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Michael W. Wynne
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller)

In office
President George H.W. Bush
Preceded by Richard E. Carver
Succeeded by Robert F. Hale
Director of Administration and Management

In office
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Raymond F. DuBois
Succeeded by Michael L. Rhodes
Personal details
Born October 4, 1952(1952-10-04) (age 69)
Novato, California

Michael Bruce Donley (born October 4, 1952) was the 22nd Secretary of the United States Air Force. Donley has 30 years of experience in the national security community, including service on the staff of the United States Senate, White House and The Pentagon. Donley previously served as the Director of Administration and Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.[1]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Donley was born in Novato, California. He earned his B.A. (1977) and Master of Arts (1978) in international relations from the University of Southern California. He also attended the Program for Senior Executives in National Security at Harvard University.[1][2]

Donley served in the United States Army (1972–1975). He attended the Army’s Intelligence School (1972), Airborne school (1974), and Defense Language Institute (1973). He served in the 18th Airborne Corps and 5th Special Forces Group.[1][2][3]

Public service[edit | edit source]

Donley was editor of the National Security Record for the Heritage Foundation in 1978 and part of 1979. He was a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate from 1979 to 1981, and then a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1981 to 1984.[1][2]

Donley served as director of defense programs and Deputy Executive Secretary at the National Security Council from 1984 through 1989. As Deputy Executive Secretary, he oversaw the White House Situation Room and chaired interagency committees on crisis management procedures and continuity of government. Earlier, as Director of Defense Programs, Mr. Donley was the NSC representative to the Defense Resources Board, and coordinated the President's quarterly meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He conceived and organized the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (the Packard Commission), coordinated White House policy on the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986, and wrote the National Security Strategy for President Ronald Reagan's second term.[1][2]

In 1989, Donley was appointed as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller). In this position, he was responsible for preparing the Air Force budget, cost estimating of weapon systems, economic analysis, and providing financial services to all Air Force personnel. He served as Assistant Secretary until 1993, when he became Acting Secretary of the Air Force. Donley served as Acting Secretary for seven months until July 1993.[1][2]

After leaving the Air Force, Donley became a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He stayed at the Institute until 1996 when he became a Senior Vice President at Hicks and Associates, Inc., a division of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). While there, he served as a Special Advisor to the United States Department of State for affairs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[1][2]

On 9 May 2005, United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed Donley Director of Administration and Management. In this position, he oversaw 1,300 employees who provide administrative and support services to the Department of Defense's Washington headquarters which includes The Pentagon. He was responsible for the $5.5 billion Pentagon Renovation and Construction Program.[2]

Secretary of the Air Force[edit | edit source]

Secretary Donley testifying before the United States Senate

On 9 June 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates recommended that President George W. Bush nominate Donley to become the Secretary of the Air Force. Gates also announced Donley would become the Acting Secretary of the Air Force effective on 21 June 2008.[4] The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination as the 22nd Secretary of the Air Force on 2 October 2008.[1] Donley was reappointed as the Secretary of the Air Force by President Barack Obama in January 2009.

As the Secretary of the Air Force, Donley is responsible for the operation of the Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of more than 300,000 men and women on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and their families, the 180,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, and 160,000 civilian employees of the Air Force. Donley also oversees the annual budget of the Department of the Air Force, about $110 billion.[1]

On 13 April 2009, Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Norton A. Schwartz jointly published an opinion piece in The Washington Post supporting the decision by Secretary Gates to discontinue the production of the F-22 Raptor fighter plane. Donley stated the "requirements for fighter inventories have declined and F-22 program costs have risen."[5]

On April 26, 2013, Donley announced plans to step down as the Secretary of the Air Force on June 21, 2013.[6] He was succeeded on that date by acting secretary Eric Fanning.[7]

Education[edit | edit source]

  • 1972 U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona
  • 1973 Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, California
  • 1974 U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia
  • 1977 Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • 1978 Master of Arts degree in international relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • 1986 Senior Executives in National Security program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Career chronology[edit | edit source]

  • 1972 - 1975, U.S. Army, XVIIIth Airborne Corps and 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1978 - 1979, Editor, National Security Record, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • 1979 - 1981, Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981 - 1984, Professional Staff Member, Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C.
  • 1984 - 1987, Director of Defense Programs, National Security Council, The White House, Washington, D.C.
  • 1987 - 1989, Deputy Executive Secretary, National Security Council, the White House, Washington, D.C.
  • 1989 - 1993, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller), Washington, D.C.
  • 1993, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Washington D.C.
  • 1993 - 1996, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Va.
  • 1996 - 2005, Senior Vice President at Hicks and Associates, Inc. (a subsidiary of SAIC) McLean, Virginia
  • 2005 - 2008, Director of Administration and Management, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
  • 2008 – 2013, Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Biographies: Michael B. Donley". Washington, DC: U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Office. July 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20080822101405/http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=11336. Retrieved 2009-11-12.  United States Air Force military biography
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "DefenseLink Biography". United States Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/bios/biographydetail.aspx?biographyid=43. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  3. Tyson, Ann Scott (7 June 2008). "Pentagon Official May Head Air Force". Washingtonpost.com. Washington, D.C.. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/06/AR2008060601742.html?hpid=moreheadlines. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  4. "Defense Secretary Gates Announces Recommendations to the President on Senior Air Force Leadership Positions", Officer of the Secretary of Defense Press Release, United States Department of Defense, Washington, DC, 9 June 2008.
  5. Donley, Michael; Norton Schwartz (13 April 2009). "Moving Beyond the F-22". Washington Post. Washington, D.C.. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/12/AR2009041202268.html?hpid=opinionsbox1. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  6. http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130426/NEWS/304260022/Donley-step-down-June
  7. Schogoll, Jeff (June 21, 2013). "Donley retires; Under Secretary Fanning becomes acting AF secretary". http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130621/NEWS05/306210037/Donley-retires-Under-Secretary-Fanning-becomes-acting-AF-secretary. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Government offices
Preceded by
Michael Wynne
United States Secretary of the Air Force
2008 - 2013
Succeeded by
Eric Fanning, acting
Preceded by
Richard E. Carver
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller)
1989 – 1993
Succeeded by
Robert F. Hale

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