Ms. Julie Blanks is the Executive Director, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, having assumed this role in July of 2018.
As the Executive Director, Ms. Blanks is the primary focal point for the Under Secretary to ensure synchronization and integration of matters spanning the entirety of P&R enterprise, including its four Defense Agencies and Field Activities.
As the Senior Career Official within P&R, she provides institutional continuity and expertise across all portfolios, providing organizational advice, strategic guidance, consistent messaging, operational oversight, and resource management to the enterprise, while executing critical mission support functions and serving as the primary liaison with the Immediate Offices of the Secretary & Deputy Secretary, as well as all other OSD Principal Staff Assistants and the Joint Staff. Ms. Blanks exercises oversight and management of all manpower, personnel, and financial resources of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness. She manages a diverse staff charged with ensuring that the day-to-day operations of the P&R portfolio are discharged, and maintains responsibility for enterprise-wide continuity of operations, human capital administration, executive correspondence, policy issuances, resource management, and program integration. In addition, Ms. Blanks and her staff are the primary conduit for engaging with Congress, inter-agency partners, the media, military and veteran’s service organizations, and other external stakeholders.
Prior to assuming the duties of the Executive Director, Ms. Blanks served in P&R’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, as the Principal Director for Military Community and Family Policy enterprise, assisting the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy with a broad portfolio that included policy, advocacy, and oversight of all community support to service members and families including quality of life issues; family and casualty assistance; morale, welfare and recreation programs; Military OneSource program; and policy oversight of the Defense Department's commissary and exchange services.
Before that, Ms. Blanks served in M&RA as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy, where she was responsible for policy and oversight of civilian personnel plans, policies and programs affecting nearly 1 million Department of Defense civilian employees worldwide.
Ms. Blanks entered federal service in 2001. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College where she earned a master’s degree in military strategy. She holds two additional master’s degrees, one in social work from the University of Alabama and the other in human resources management from Troy University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication at Auburn University.