Dr. Kathleen Hicks was confirmed as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on May 25, 2012. Dr. Hicks is responsible for advising the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Secretary of Defense on all matters pertaining to the development and execution of U.S. national defense policy and strategy. Prior to this, she served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces from February, 2009 to May 2012. In that position, she led the development of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and oversaw the strategic guidance development, review, and assessment for military contingency plans and the plans for the day-to-day military activities of Combatant Commanders. In addition, Dr. Hicks led Policy’s efforts to provide strategic guidance and implementation oversight to the Department’s planning, programming, and budgeting process as well as various force development, force management, and corporate support processes. This included the integrated assessment of U.S. military posture, force structure, and associated defense activities and capabilities.
Dr. Hicks joined the Defense Department in 2009 from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she was a Senior Fellow. At CSIS, Dr. Hicks directed the following projects: Beyond Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Governance, Transitioning Defense Organizational Initiatives, Capabilities-Based Planning for Stability Operations, and the Future of U.S. Civil Affairs Forces. In addition, she co-directed the CSIS Task Force on Nontraditional Security Assistance, led strategy, planning, and process assessments for the Project on National Security Reform, and assessed the national security community’s role in improving global health.
From 1993 to August 2006, Dr. Hicks held a variety of career civil service positions within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, beginning as a Presidential Management Intern and rising to the Senior Executive Service. She participated in the 1997 and 2005 Quadrennial Defense Reviews and authored follow-on planning guidance to implement the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. As Director for Policy Planning, she was responsible for overseeing the development of U.S. defense strategy and improving long-range policy planning capability within the Department of Defense. In addition, as the Director for Homeland Defense Strategic Planning and Program Integration, she developed DoD’s first-ever Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support.
Dr. Hicks holds a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs and an A.B. magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.