Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense

Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Kathleen Holland Hicks was born in September 1970 in Fairfield, California. She earned an undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College, and an MPA in national security studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She received a Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for three years. She began her career as a civil servant at the Office of the Secretary of Defense during President Obama’s administration, holding a variety of positions from Presidential Management Intern to the Senior Executive Service. She served four years as a senior civilian official in the Department of Defense confirmed by the Senate as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

She was nominated by President Joe Biden to be U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense. She was confirmed by the Senate and sworn into office in February 2021.

She is married to Thomas Hicks and they have three children.

In the News…

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks recently highlighted the threats to U.S. cyber security and infrastructure during the change of command ceremony at U.S. Cyber Command in which Army General Paul Nakasone passed the flag to Air Force General Timothy Haugh.

Deputy Secretary Hicks said, “Our competitors are looking to degrade our military advantage — to threaten our infrastructure, our information systems, and our industrial base.” 

She stated that China “seeks to spread its brand of autocracy through digital means: like intrusive hardware and software, forcing tech to comply with political ideologies, stealing [intellectual property] and trying to dominate the telecom and cybersecurity industries.”  

The deputy defense secretary also highlighted the cyber and ransomware attacks that have come out of Russia, as well as their influence and propaganda campaigns.


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