Stephanie Barna is currently performing the Duties of the Under
Secretary of Defense, as directed by Secretary of Defense Jim
Mattis. A career Senior Executive, Ms. Barna served most recently
as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkie
throughout his tenure as Under Secretary. In this capacity, she
advised Mr. Wilkie on the execution of his responsibilities for Total
Force management, National Guard and Reserve Component
affairs, health affairs, readiness and training, military and civilian
personnel policy and programs, dependents’ education, equal
opportunity, and warfighter and family quality-of-life.
Previously, Ms. Barna served as Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, in which
role she was a principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all
matters relating to civilian and military personnel, reserve
integration, military community and family policy, and Total Force manpower and resources.
Additionally, she exercised day-to-day supervision of DoD schools and the Defense Commissary Agency.
From April 2016 to January 2017, Ms. Barna performed the duties of the Principal Deputy Under
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, serving as principal assistant to the Honorable Peter
Levine, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Ms. Barna served previously as the Deputy General Counsel for Operations and Personnel in the Office
of the Army General Counsel. She advised three Army Secretaries while managing a diverse legal
portfolio and leading a staff of senior attorneys working in myriad areas of law and policy, including
military operations and personnel; civilian personnel and labor law; international law; intelligence
oversight, counter-intelligence, and special operations; and the organization and institutional functions
of the Department of the Army. Of note, she served as the liaison to the District of Columbia National
Guard, for which the Secretary of the Army acts as Commander.
Ms. Barna began her public service career in 1989, as a lieutenant in the Army Judge Advocate General’s
Corps. Over the years, she served in leadership positions in commands across the Army, including the
U.S. Army Special Forces Command, headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 7th Infantry
Division (Light), at Fort Ord, California. She retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 2011 in the grade of
Colonel, having last served with U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and as an adjunct
professor with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Ms. Barna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington & Jefferson College, a Juris
Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a Master of Laws degree from the U.S. Army
Judge Advocate General’s School. She is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
She is a 2012 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award winner, was awarded the Department of
Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service by the Secretary of Defense, and twice received the
Secretary of the Army’s Exceptional Civilian Service Award. Her military awards include the Legion of
Merit, and she is qualified as an Army Jumpmaster.