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Eric Fanning

Former Secretary of the United States Army


Mr. Eric K. Fanning was appointed 22nd Secretary of the Army by President Obama on May 18, 2016.

As Secretary of the Army, he has statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management.

Prior this appointment, President Obama designated Mr. Fanning as Acting Secretary of the Army, where he served from November 3, 2015 – January 11, 2016, and before that was designated Acting Under Secretary of the Army and Chief Management Officer on June 30, 2015. He served as the Secretary of the Army's senior civilian assistant and principal adviser on matters related to the management and operation of the Army, including development and integration of the Army Program and Budget. As Chief Management Officer (CMO) of the Army, he advised the Secretary on the effective and efficient organization of the Army's business operations and initiatives for the business transformation of the Army.

Mr. Fanning previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. He helped manage Secretary of Defense Carter's transition, built his leadership team, and oversaw the day-to-day staff activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

From April, 2013 until February, 2015, he served as the 24th Under Secretary of the Air Force. As Under Secretary and Chief Management Officer of the Air Force, he oversaw an annual budget of more than $110 billion by serving as co-chair of the top Air Force corporate decision making body, the Air Force Council, and also led the Air Force Space Board, the Air Force Energy Council, the Force Management and Development Council, and numerous other Air Force decision-making bodies.

From June, 2013 through December, 2013 Mr. Fanning served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force.

From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy/Deputy Chief Management Officer. In this role, he led the department's business transformation and governance processes and coordinated several efforts to identify enterprise-wide efficiencies.

From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Fanning was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which issued its report in December of 2008. He joined the commission staff from CMG, a strategic communications firm, where he was managing director. From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Fanning was Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at Business Executives for National Security, a Washington, DC- based think tank, where he was in charge of international programs and all regional office operations in six cities across the country. He traveled to more than 30 countries, mostly in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prior to joining BENS, Mr. Fanning was at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery, another strategic communications firm. From 1997 to 1998, he worked on the national and foreign assignment desks at CBS National News in New York. From 1991 to 1996, he worked in various political positions in Washington, D.C.: he was a research assistant with the House Armed Services Committee, a special assistant in the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Associate Director of Political Affairs at the White House.

Mr. Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College.