Ms. Kimberly Jackson was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness in January 2021. In this role, Jackson serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for strategic and operational readiness of the Armed Services.
Prior to re-joining the Department of Defense, Jackson was an international and defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. At RAND, Jackson directed studies on the role of military culture in inter-Service competition and the development of senior military officers, as well as the Department of Defense’s evolving roles and capabilities in strategic competition. She also led research on topics including professional military education and talent management, special operations, security cooperation, and Reserve Component forces. Additionally, from 2019-2021, Jackson was a professor of policy analysis at the RAND Pardee RAND Graduate School.
Previously, Jackson held several civilian positions in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, including as deputy director for Levant policy, Syria team lead, and director of various special operations and security assistance programs. She began her service in the Department of Defense as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009. In that capacity, Jackson served in three special operations commands as a planner, as an action officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, and as a special assistant in the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation directorate. Additionally, from 2004-2006, Jackson was the military legislative advisor to U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, where she spearheaded legislation to create the National Guard and Reserve Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
Until 2020, Jackson was an officer in the United States Navy Reserve, where she held assignments within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Naval Special Warfare, and in the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group.
Jackson holds an M.P.P. and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota.