Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

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The Role

The U.S. Secretary of Defense oversees the Department of Defense and acts as the principal defense policy maker and adviser.


View photographs of Acting Secretary Shanahan here.

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan shakes hands with a woman as other civilians watch.

The Person

Patrick M. Shanahan became the Acting Secretary of Defense on January 1, 2019. Prior to this assignment, he served as the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense, appointed on July 19, 2017. The Washington state native holds two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent more than 30 years at Boeing, where he led programs for commercial planes, missile defense systems and rotorcraft systems.