Mr. Bryan Whitman, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on May 23, 2010. In this capacity, he is responsible to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Defense, and the Deputy Secretary of Defense for the formulation of public affairs policies and strategies regarding the release of National Security and Defense information to the public and news media. He assists in the execution and oversight of all public information, internal communications, and community relations programs in support of global operations.
From May 2002 to May 2010, Mr. Whitman served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations. In that position he was responsible for all aspects of media operations for the Defense Department. He also served as a senior spokesman for the Defense Department and oversaw all media functions to include oversight of the Pentagon’s Press Office and all visual information programs and activities.
From August 1997 to May 2002, Mr. Whitman served in the Pentagon Press Office as the Deputy Director for Press Operations. He was responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing the military and civilian Public Affairs staff of the Pentagon Press Office. There he managed the dissemination of information to the national and international news media. He advised senior Defense officials on the public affairs impact of pending policy decisions and proposed military operations. He directed the management and preparation for all Pentagon news conferences and briefings by the Secretary of Defense and other senior Defense officials.
From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Whitman was a Public Affairs Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. He was the primary Department spokesman for arms control issues, nuclear weapons programs and policy, counter-proliferation initiatives, technology security, and U.S./ Russian Defense relations. He was responsible for developing and coordinating press guidance for senior defense officials and ensured U.S. and Defense Department policy was accurately interpreted and translated into understandable terms for such complex policies as the anti-ballistic missile treaty and U.S. policy on nuclear testing. During the height of the Gulf War Illnesses controversy he was assigned to head up a public affairs team to address the concerns of veterans and to restore credibility in the Department.
Prior to that Mr. Whitman was the Director of Government and Public Affairs for the United Service Organization (USO) World Headquarters in Washington. He was responsible for legislative initiatives and communication strategy for 120 USO centers around the world and 33 independent affiliations located throughout the United States. He was in charge of publicity for international entertainment tours with notable Hollywood celebrities and major musical entertainers.
As an officer in the United States Army, his Public Affairs assignments included postings in the Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Whitman was a Special Forces officer with assignments around the world. He commanded five different combat units at various levels, with his last combat tour as the commander of all Special Forces operations in Somalia during the final withdrawal of United Nations Forces.
Mr. Whitman is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and holds a Masters Degree in Communications from Oklahoma University. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Photography and an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology.