Assistant Secretary of Defense
Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Readiness
Mr. Peter I. Belk is Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness. In this capacity, he is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD)(P&R)) on all matters related to the readiness of the Total Force. Also, he develops policies and plans, provides advice, and makes recommendations for the Total Force Readiness programs, reporting, and assessments of readiness to execute the National Defense Strategy.
Most recently, Mr. Belk served as the U.S. Northern Command Deputy Director of Operations, providing strategic and operational guidance for the planning and execution of multi-domain, globally integrated Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations. Mr. Belk also served as the U.S. Special Operations Command Deputy Director for Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Concepts where he led command planning, campaign design, and risk assessments development, as well as the command’s implementation and integration of the Joint Strategic Planning System. He also developed Special Operations Forces enterprise priorities for force posture and allocation, the command Program Objective Memorandum, and force design.
Previously, Mr. Belk was the Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Threats at the National Security Council where he planned, directed and coordinated policies for nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological threats, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and international arms control and nonproliferation mechanisms.
Mr. Belk has held numerous other roles in government to include Principal Director (Acting) for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program Office in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (NCB), Director of Strategic Relations, International and Interagency and Deputy Director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction in NCB. Mr. Belk was a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and an analyst in the Office of Strategic, Proliferation and Military Affairs in INR for Middle East and South Asia political-military affairs.
Since 1993, Mr. Belk has served in the U.S. Army on active and reserve duty as a civil affairs and military intelligence officer – to include support for Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Allied Force – in key leadership, staff, operational, and planning positions.
Mr. Belk is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia and the State of New York with extensive private sector experience in law, finance operations and consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law. Mr. Belk is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.