Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
2019 Hypersonics Capabilities Conference
Robert O. Work was confirmed as the 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense on April 30, 2014.
Mr. Work most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Work served as the Undersecretary of the Navy. In this capacity, he was the Deputy and Principal Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and acted with full authority of the Secretary in the day-to-day management of the Department of the Navy.
In 2008, Mr. Work served on President-elect Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Transition Team as leader of the Department of the Navy issues team. He also worked on the defense policy, acquisition, and budget teams.
In 2002, Mr. Work joined the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), first as the Senior Fellow for Maritime Affairs, and later as the Vice President for Strategic Studies. In these positions, he focused on defense strategy and programs, revolutions in war, Department of Defense transformation, and maritime affairs.
Mr. Work was also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he taught defense analysis and roles and missions of the armed forces.
Mr. Work was a distinguished graduate of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Course at the University of Illinois, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1974. During his 27- year military career, he held a wide range of command, leadership, and management positions. He commanded an artillery battery and a battalion, and was the base commander at Camp Fuji, Japan. His last assignment was as Military Assistant and Senior Aide to the Honorable Richard Danzig, 7lst secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Work earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Illinois; a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California; a Master of Science in Space System Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School; and a Master in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
His military and civilian awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award.