Appointee Directory

Joseph Benkert -- Department of Defense
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs

Mr. Benkert was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs on July 23, 2008. He had been the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs since December 2006, when the Global Security Affairs (GSA) organization was established. Previously, he served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, GSA’s predecessor. The Global Security Affairs office is responsible for defense-related issues concerning building the capability of partners and allies; coalition affairs; technology security policy; security cooperation; counternarcotics, counterproliferation, and countering global threats; detainee affairs; and POW/MIA issues. Mr. Benkert previously served as Deputy Director and Director of the Defense Reconstruction Support Office (DRSO) and its predecessor, the Defense Support Office – Iraq. Mr. Benkert was instrumental in establishing these offices to provide a single focus within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for coordination of the Defense Department’s support to stabilization and reconstruction activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to this appointment, he was the Deputy and Chief of Operations for the Coalition Provisional Authority’s Washington office. Before that, he was Chief of Staff for the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Mr. Benkert was a career Navy officer with extensive experience both in command at sea and in national security policy formulation and implementation in Washington. He commanded two destroyer squadrons; a guided missile cruiser, USS Josephus Daniels; and a frigate, USS McCloy. He was the Executive Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, an advisory group for the Navy’s senior uniformed leader; and served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy both as a senior military assistant and as the Director of European Policy. Mr. Benkert graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy and received the Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Joseph Benkert