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Matthew P. Donovan

Former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness


The Honorable Matthew P. Donovan is the former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.  Mr. Donovan served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense for force readiness; force management; health affairs; National Guard and Reserve component affairs; education and training; and military and civilian personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and quality of life matters.

A Presidential appointee confirmed by the United States Senate in March 2020, Mr. Donovan provided policy, guidance, and oversight for the readiness, management, and healthcare of the Department’s 4.5 million total force service members, retirees, their families, and the civilian workforce.

In his previous capacity, Mr. Donovan served as the Under Secretary of the Air Force from August 2017 until March 2020 and as the Acting Secretary of the Air Force from June 2019 until October 2019.

Prior to his tenure as the Under Secretary of the Air Force, Mr. Donovan was majority policy director and professional staff member on the U. S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.  In those positions he provided advice, counsel, and recommendations to the committee chairman on global regional security affairs, as well as matters related to readiness and sustainment programs for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Mr. Donovan retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel after 31 years of enlisted and officer active duty service.  He is a command pilot with over 2,900 hours of flight time in the F-15C Eagle and the F-5E Tiger II. 

Mr. Donovan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in technical management from Regis University.  He also earned a Master of Arts degree in management from Webster University, a Master of Arts degree in Airpower Art and Science from the USAF School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and a Master of Arts degree in Military Arts and Sciences from the Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship, U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.