Biography: John J. Hamre, Deputy Defense Secretary
National Guard Bureau
WASHINGTON, July 31, 1997 Defense Secretary William S. Cohen swore in John J. Hamre as deputy secretary of defense July 29 in a Pentagon ceremony.
Hamre had been undersecretary of defense (comptroller and chief financial officer) since Oct. 26, 1993. In that position, Hamre was the principal assistant to the defense secretary for the preparation, presentation and execution of the defense budget and for management improvement programs.
Before coming to the department, Hamre served for 10 years as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was primarily responsible for the oversight and evaluation of procurement and research and development programs, and for defense budget issues and relations with the Senate Appropriations Committee.
From 1978 to 1984, Hamre served in the Congressional Budget Office, rising to become deputy assistant director for national security and international affairs. In that position, he oversaw analysis and other support for committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Hamre was born July 3, 1950, in Watertown, S.D., and grew up in Clark, S.D. In 1972, he received a bachelor's degree with highest distinction from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., emphasizing political science and economics. The following year he studied as a Rockefeller Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. He received his doctorate with distinction in 1978 from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. His studies focused on international politics and economics and U.S. foreign policy.
Hamre is married to the former Julia Pfanstiehl, and they reside in Bethesda, Md.