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Cara Abercrombie

Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy


Ms. Cara Abercrombie is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In this role, she serves as the primary assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in formulating, coordinating, and integrating national security policy and plans within the Department of Defense. She was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition in 2024, advising Department leadership on matters relating to the Defense Acquisition System, acquisition program management, and the acquisition workforce. From 2021-2023, Ms. Abercrombie served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council.

Ms. Abercrombie was a career member of the Senior Executive Service with two decades of experience working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Her previous positions in the Department have included Acting Deputy Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency while serving as the first President of the Defense Security Cooperation University; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia; Principal Director for East Asia Policy, and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. She joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2003. Prior to entering government, Ms. Abercrombie was a Program Officer for Eurasia with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Ms. Abercrombie received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and Master in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She is a 2022 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, numerous Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, and the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award.