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Dr. Elizabeth (Elise) P. Van Winkle

Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness

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Dr. Elizabeth P. Van Winkle is performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness.

Dr. Elizabeth P. Van Winkle served as the Principal Director for Force Resiliency under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In this role, Dr. Van Winkle acted as the principal staff advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and the Secretary of Defense for developing policies, providing oversight, and integrating activities in the areas of sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, diversity management, equal opportunity, drug demand reduction and other personnel risk reduction efforts, and for Department of Defense collaborative efforts with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Dr. Van Winkle works with counterparts from across the entire Department of Defense, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Military Departments (to include the Chiefs/Directors of Service Reserve Components); the Joint Staff; the Chief, National Guard Bureau; the Defense Agencies; the Combatant Commands; staff members from other Executive Branch Departments, and Members of Congress.

Prior to her appointment as Principal Director, Dr. Van Winkle was the Director of the Health and Resilience Research and Surveys program within the Office of People Analytics (OPA). In this position, Dr. Van Winkle oversaw survey and research efforts on topics of health, well-being, morale, and resilience in support of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. She served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Workplace and Gender Relations surveys (WGRs), Military Justice Experience surveys (MIJES), Service Academy Gender Relations surveys (SAGR), Workplace and Equal Opportunity surveys (WEOs), and related focus group studies.

Prior to her work at the Department of Defense, Dr. Van Winkle was a senior clinician on a specialized trauma services team in Washington, D.C.. In this position she provided direct and group services to individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders and PTSD as a result of psychological, physical, and sexual trauma.

Dr. Van Winkle holds a Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology from The Catholic University of America, an M.A. in Sociology from Boston University, and B.A. in Psychology and English from Kenyon College. She is a published author on the impact of combat stress on symptoms of PTSD, the impact of deployments on military spouse well-being, and numerous technical reports on sexual assault and harassment in military populations. She resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two children.