Supporting key military readiness and training issues


Ms. Kimberly Jackson


Ms. Jackson was appointed in January of 2021 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness. She is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for strategic and operational readiness of the Armed Forces.

Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Jackson was an international and defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. During that time, she 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.

She served in several civilian positions throughout the Department of Defense, including the Syria policy director and manager of various special operations and security assistance programs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, as a planner in three special operations commands, 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.

Ms. Jackson served as a Naval Reserve officer until 2020 and 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. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota as well as a Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.


Ms. Kimberly Jackson

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness