Acting Under Secretary of Defense for
Personnel and Readiness
Mr. Ashish S. Vazirani is the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness as of September 8, 2023. As the Under Secretary, Mr. Vazirani serves as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense for force readiness; force management; health affairs; National Guard and Reserve component affairs; education and training; and military and civilian personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and quality of life matters.
He was previously sworn in as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on July 18, 2022. Prior to this Mr. Vazirani briefly served in the Department of the Navy as the principal advisor on issues pertaining to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and suicide prevention and response within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Vazirani was Principal of A2O Strategies, LLC where he provided advisory services to high growth, mid-size, and large enterprises, commercial and non-profit, on the development, implementation, and execution of growth strategies. Mr. Vazirani was Executive Director and CEO of the National Military Family Association (NMFA), where he provided strategic and operational oversight, and direction for all aspects of NMFA’s advocacy and programing to support military families. During his tenure, NMFA regained its four-star charity rating and expanded programming, including a child care fee relief program. Before joining NMFA, he led development and programming at the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) where he ensured implementation and measurement of standardized programs serving junior enlisted military families. Mr. Vazirani also served as a Member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families. Prior to his work with the ASYMCA, he spent over two decades as a management consultant working with leading high tech and pharmaceutical companies to create transformational change while delivering customer- centric solutions and profitable growth. Mr. Vazirani served on active duty in the United States Navy as a Submarine Officer from 1986 to 1993.
Mr. Vazirani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He served as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. His family immigrated to the United States when he was 3 years old. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland where he and his wife, Deborah, currently reside. They have an adult son and daughter. Mr. Vazirani is the son of a combat wounded, Vietnam-era Marine and the father of a currently serving Marine.