Ms. Caryn C. Hollis is performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict. She is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Defense on all special operations and low-intensity conflict activities, including global counterterrorism, direct action, counternarcotics and global threats, embassy security, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Additionally, Ms. Hollis is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats. In this capacity, she leads the Department of Defense’s global counternarcotics and threat finance policies and operations, among other global issues, overseeing a budget of over $1 billion.
Prior to this position, Ms. Hollis served as the Principal Director for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats from October 2009 to July 2012.
From May to October 2009, Ms. Hollis served as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low Intensity Conflict in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
From February 2007 to May 2009, Ms. Hollis served as the Director, Partnering at U.S. Southern Command and the Senior Defense Policy Advisor to the Combatant Commander. The Partnering Directorate was comprised of representatives from the interagency community and the armed services. Ms. Hollis was responsible for identifying interagency opportunities and aligning U.S. Southern Command efforts to expand collaboration and integration of interagency representation at U.S. Southern Command.
From February 2005 to January 2007, Ms. Hollis served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Principal Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
From December 2001 to January 2005, Ms. Hollis served as the Principal Director for Stability Operations in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. She managed a civilian and military staff charged with providing policy guidance on peace operations, humanitarian and disaster relief, landmine policy, and post-conflict reconstruction.
Ms. Hollis served as Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council from December 1999 to September 2001. A recognized authority on Latin American affairs and defense policy issues, Ms. Hollis served as the Principal Director of Inter-American Region from May to December 1999, the Director for South America from April 1998 to April 1999 in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. From 1987 to 1998, Ms. Hollis worked in various offices focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense Intelligence Agency and served as the Deputy Defense Intelligence Officer for Latin America.
Ms. Hollis holds a Master of Arts from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University.