Marcel Lettre was nominated by President Obama as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (PDUSDI) and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on October 31, 2013.
As the PDUSDI, Secretary Lettre is the deputy to the principal intelligence advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Undersecretary Michael G. Vickers, who exercises authority, direction, and control on behalf of the Secretary of Defense over all intelligence organizations within the Department of Defense; is the program executive for the Military Intelligence Program; represents the Department on intelligence and sensitive operations to the Central Intelligence Agency, other elements of the Intelligence Community, and the National Security Council; and is dual-hatted as the DNI’s Director of Defense Intelligence.
From 2011-2013, Secretary Lettre served as a Special Assistant to Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Bob Gates, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Panetta. Lettre also led both the Gates-Panetta and Panetta-Hagel transition teams. From 2009-2011, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. In these roles, he supported the Secretary of Defense on defense strategy and budget development, crisis management, cyber initiatives, sensitive intelligence and counterterrorism operational decisions, significant acquisition and R&D investments, and strategic nuclear and arms control matters.
From 2005-2009, Mr. Lettre served as Senior Defense and Intelligence Advisor and then as Senior National Security Advisor to the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, handling all “Gang of Eight” intelligence matters for the Leader. In this role he shaped national security legislation and intelligence policy initiatives; supported securing passage of the annual defense and intelligence authorization bills, appropriations bills, and war supplementals; and handled Senate confirmation of senior defense and intelligence officials.
From 2002-2005, Mr. Lettre served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He supported the intelligence after-action reviews on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and advised on the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which created the Director of National Intelligence.
Previously, Mr. Lettre served as an analyst for a global management consulting firm and in research roles including for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Nuclear Nonproliferation Project, the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project chaired by William J. Perry and Ashton B. Carter, and a Congressional commission examining the organization and efficacy of the U.S. government regarding intelligence and programs to counter WMD.
Mr. Lettre is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has a masters degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a bachelors from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Mr. Lettre grew up in an Army family and is an outdoorsman and hiker, having once backpacked the full 2,100-mile length of the Appalachian Trail. Mr. Lettre is married with two daughters.