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Jesse Salazar

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy


Appointed in February, 2021, Mr. Jesse Salazar served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. In this role, he lead the Industrial Policy team as they assess, protect, and promote the Defense Industrial Base. He advised the Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisition and Sustainment on the health of the Industrial Base to ensure a robust, secure, resilient, and innovative industrial capabilities upon which the Department of Defense can rely to fulfill current and future Warfighter requirements.

Prior to his appointment in Industrial Policy, Mr. Salazar led global external relations for the Advanced Industries practice of McKinsey & Company, where he managed the development and dissemination of vital industrial research on the automotive, machinery, advanced electronics, semiconductors, aerospace, and defense sectors, as well as industry stakeholder engagement.  He also served on McKinsey’s Advanced Industries COVID-19 global leadership team and supported several industrial and manufacturing research partnerships with the World Economic Forum.

Mr. Salazar served as Vice President of Content Design and Vice President of Communications at the Council on Foundations. He also worked to strengthen minority and small businesses and ensure inclusive economic growth, as Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He held additional roles as Special Assistant and Field Representative to U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., Commissioner of Latino Affairs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Communications Director for SEIU. Mr. Salazar also taught in the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University.

Passionate about nonprofit service, Mr. Salazar supports national efforts to create life-sustaining employment opportunities as secretary of the board for the nonprofit Generation USA. He also serves on the board for Baltimore Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland. Mr. Salazar is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and chair emeritus for The Communications Network.

He holds an MA in History from Princeton University, where he received the Davis Merit Prize and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Advanced Humanistic Studies, and he earned a BA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Salazar resides with his husband in Baltimore, MD.