Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Personnel & Readiness

HON Shawn G. Skelly

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of

Defense for Personnel and Readiness​

Ms. Shawn G. Skelly is Performing the Duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness as of September 11, 2023. In this role, she serves as the primary assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in formulating, coordinating, and integrating policy for force readiness; force management; health affairs; National Guard and Reserve Component affairs; education and training; and military and civilian personnel requirements and management to include equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and quality of life matters.

Previously, Ms. Skelly was confirmed by the Senate to be the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness on July 22, 2021, where she served as 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. In that capacity, she developed policies and plans, provided advice, and made recommendations for Total Force Readiness programs, reporting, and assessments of readiness to execute the National Defense Strategy. Additionally, Ms. Skelly served as the DoD Designated Agency Safety and Health Official, responsible for integrated assessment and reporting of safety and occupational health issues, trend analysis, and mishap and accident reduction and mitigation activities.

Ms. Skelly served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a Naval Flight Officer, retiring with the rank of Commander. After a period in industry with ITT Exelis, she joined the Obama Administration in 2013, first serving as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the U.S. Department of Defense, and ultimately as the Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2017, President Obama appointed her to serve as a Commissioner on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, which delivered its final report to Congress, Inspired to Serve, in March of 2020. Ms. Skelly is also a Co-Founder and former Vice  President of Out in National Security, formerly served on the Atlantic Council’s LGBTI Advisory Council, and was a member of the Service Year Alliance Leadership Council.

Ms. Skelly received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

DoD Bio