Assistant Secretary of Defense
Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez is currently serving as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. In this role,
he is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
for all Department of Defense health and force health protection policies, programs, and activities.
Dr. Martinez, a family medicine physician, retired from the Army as a Major General and was the first Latino to head the
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, where he directed the Army’s worldwide medical research, acquisition, and
logistics program. His experience in military medicine also includes tours as the Commanding General of the Center for
Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, where he directed a worldwide public health organization, and command of three
military hospitals. After retiring from the Army, he served as the Chief Medical Officer at the Brandon Regional
Hospital in Florida and Senior Vice President and Administrator of the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Texas.
Dr. Martinez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine degree, and
earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.