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Ashton B. Carter

Barack Obama Administration

6 October 2011–3 December 2013

Ashton B. Carter was sworn in as the 31st Deputy Secretary of Defense on 6 October 2011.

Carter, a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, was born on 24 September 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He attended Yale University and graduated summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in physics and medieval history, and in 1979 as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned his doctorate from Oxford University.

Dr. Carter’s government service began in 1981 when he became an analyst with Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy from 1993–1996 and was the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 2009 until he was nominated to be deputy secretary of defense.  He was confirmed as deputy on 23 September 2011.

He was the Ford Foundation Professor of Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and from 2006–2009 he served as the Chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at the Kennedy School of Government.

Among the most prestigious honors which Dr. Carter has received during his career is the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department of Defense’s highest civilian award.  He is a three time recipient: in 1994 and 1995 as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy; and in 2011 as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.  He has also been awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal from the Defense Intelligence Agency.