Current Assignment: Mrs. Gail H. McGinn was appointed as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Plans in November 2002. In this capacity, she serves as the official within the Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness responsible for developing integrated evaluation processes to measure the success of personnel programs. She provides advice and assistance to the Under Secretary on the management of military and civilian personnel programs affecting over 2 million service members and employees; oversees the development of strategic plans for human resources; and directs involvement with oversight and consultant boards to achieve human resource goals. She was appointed as the Senior Language Authority for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in May of 2004, with responsibility for improving foreign language capability within the Department of Defense. She is also responsible for developing policies and approaches to address sexual assault within the Armed Forces and diversity management and equal opportunity for the Department of Defense. Mrs. McGinn manages the Department’s involvement with the Senior Oversight Committee and Joint Executive Council to support the wounded warrior and joint strategic planning efforts between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to support warriors transitioning to veteran status.
Past Experiences: Mrs. McGinn became a member of the Senior Executive Service in 1992. Her prior SES assignments include Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy and Principal Director for Personnel Support, Families and Education. Beginning her service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1988 Mrs. McGinn provided personal leadership to the planning and development of military family support programs; child development programs; and family advocacy and domestic violence prevention programs. She also led a special effort to design a military funeral honors program for our nation’s veterans. Before coming to the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1988, Mrs. McGinn was the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation at the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center (1985-1988). From 1983-1985, Mrs. McGinn worked on the Army staff and served on a special task force that inaugurated family programs in the Department of the Army. She has also held a number of positions in the drug and alcohol field. These included positions at Headquarters V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany; and at Seneca Army Depot.
Awards: Mrs. McGinn is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award and is a two-time recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award. Her other awards include the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Civilian Service; the Secretary of Defense Awards for Distinguished Civilian Service, Meritorious Civilian Service and for Exceptional Civilian Service; as well as the Department of the Army decoration for Meritorious Civilian Service, the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, and the Order of the White Plume. She is also the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from William Smith College and is an honorary member of the Phi Sigma Iota foreign language honor society.
Education: Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, and raised as a military child, Mrs. McGinn has lived in many locations in the U.S. and abroad. She attended William Smith College in Geneva, New York, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She completed graduate study with a Masters Degree in Education from Boston University. Mrs. McGinn has studied both French and German and spoke Danish as a child on the playgrounds of Odense, Denmark.