As Deputy Assistant to the Secretary for Public Affairs (Media), J. Todd Breasseale is responsible for implementing and explaining the policies, programs, and goals of the administration and the department to the media and the external public; maintains a liaison with the national and international news media; leads and directs the development of public affairs and of products developed for distribution to the media and the public; and, supervises the department’s press operations, social media, and elements of the Defense Media Activity.
Prior to re-joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Breasseale directed public affairs communications at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, he led Facebook’s communications around the work of their Integrity team and community partnerships.
Before joining private industry, Mr. Breasseale was the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Public Affairs, overseeing the department’s public outreach, media relations, and strategic and incident communication efforts; and, served as the principal communications advisor to (then) Secretary Jeh C. Johnson.
Mr. Breasseale had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army and retired in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. From 1992 to 2014 he served in multiple locations throughout the U.S., Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Egypt, Haiti, and Venezuela.
Mr. Breasseale’s career in the U.S. Army includes service in the U.S. and internationally, as an artillery battery commander in the Republic of Korea and later as a commander at Fort Carson, Colorado; as the director of the U. S. Army’s Entertainment Industry Liaison office in Hollywood; as the director of media relations for coalition ground forces in Iraq; as the chief of public affairs for US Army V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany; as the deputy public affairs officer and director of media relations for the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces – Afghanistan; and finally, as the spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, responsible for all aspects of the department’s public communication of its legal, legislative, Western Hemisphere, and detainee policies. In this capacity, Mr. Breasseale also served as the personal advisor for communications to the Department of Defense General Counsel, the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy and the Rule of Law.
For his meritorious service in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Breasseale was awarded two Bronze Star medals. He is also a recipient of the Legion of Merit medal.
Mr. Breasseale, his husband Mark Nelson, and their two Samoyed dogs Adam and Steve, live in Northern Virginia.