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Madeline Mortelmans

Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategies, Plans and Capabilities


Madeline Mortelmans is Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities and is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities. In this capacity, Madeline supports the Assistant Secretary of Defense and holds leadership, policy management, and advisory responsibilities for the following offices: Force Development and Emerging Capabilities; Global Partnerships; Plans and Posture; Strategy, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. 

Prior to assuming her current role, Madeline served as Special Advisor for Cyber, Space, and Technology in the Office of the Vice President from March 2021 to March 2022.  In this role, she advised the Vice President, shaping policies related to cyber, space, technology, nuclear, homeland defense, intelligence, and global health.  Madeline played a leading role in establishing the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Space Council and led efforts on behalf of the Vice President to expand our alliances and partnerships to address cybersecurity, space, and pandemic preparedness. 

From 2017-2021, Madeline served as the Principal Director for Cyber Policy, responsible for developing DoD policy guidance to improve national and DoD cyber defenses.  In this role, she led the 2018 DoD Cyber Strategy, the first ever Cyber Posture Review, and Department efforts that secured new authorities from the President and Congress for conducting cyber operations.  

Previously, Madeline held positions at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), advising the Ambassador on defense issues and supporting negotiations for cyber confidence building measures; Special Assistant to two Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and numerous roles advising on strategy, budget, technology, and Asia. 

Madeline joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2004 and is a career member of the Senior Executive Service.