Dr. Elizabeth (Elise) P. Van Winkle

Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness

Dr. Elizabeth P. Van Winkle currently serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Force Resiliency for the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)). In this role, Dr. Van Winkle is the principal staff advisor to the USD(P&R) and the Secretary of Defense for developing policies, providing oversight, and integrating activities in the areas of sexual assault prevention and response; suicide prevention; harassment, including hazing and bullying; diversity management, equal opportunity; drug demand reduction; total force fitness; and the Department’s collaborative efforts with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Dr. Van Winkle works with counterparts from across the Department of Defense, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); the Military Departments (including the Chiefs/Directors of the Reserve Components); the Joint Staff; the National Guard Bureau; the Defense Agencies; the Combatant Commands; staff members from other Executive Branch Departments, and Members of Congress.

From January through November, 2017, Dr. Van Winkle performed the duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Readiness as the focal point within OSD, under USD(P&R), on the readiness of the Armed Services, including the development and oversight of policies and programs, including: Service and joint training, education, capability modernization, and the Defense Language and National Security Education Office. Additionally, Dr. Van Winkle developed and oversaw the Readiness Recovery Framework (R2F), allowing the Department to better assess readiness recovery across the Services. She also chaired the Executive Readiness Management Group, the National Security Education Board, and the Defense Language Steering Committee. She also served on the Executive Joint Combat Capabilities Assessment Group and was the Defense Department’s Senior Language Authority.

Prior to her current assignment, Dr. Van Winkle was the Director of the Health and Resilience Research and Surveys program within the Office of People Analytics (OPA). In this position, she oversaw the Department’s survey and research efforts on topics of health, well-being, morale, and resilience. She served as the Principal Investigator for the Workplace and Gender Relations surveys (WGRs), Military Justice Experience surveys (MIJES), Service Academy Gender Relations surveys (SAGR), Workplace and Equal Opportunity surveys (WEOs), and related focus group studies.

Dr. Van Winkle holds a Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology from The Catholic University of America, an M.A. in Sociology from Boston University, and B.A. in Psychology and English from Kenyon College. She is a published author on the impact of combat stress on symptoms of PTSD, the impact of deployments on military spouse well-being, and numerous technical reports on sexual assault and harassment in military populations.