Ashton Baldwin Carter
The Honorable Ashton Baldwin Carter was the Secretary of Defense for the United States of America. From 1993-1996, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, where he was responsible for national security policy concerning the states of the former Soviet Union (including their nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction), arms control, countering proliferation worldwide, and oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and missile defense programs; he also chaired NATO's High Level Group. From 2009 to 2011, he was Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (ATL) with responsibility for DoD’s procurement reform and innovation agenda and successful completion of key procurements like the KC-46 tanker. In this capacity, Secretary Carter also led the development and production of thousands of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles and other rapid acquisitions that saved countless service members’ lives. Determined to get the most for both the warfighters and the taxpayer, Secretary Carter instituted “Better Buying Power" for the first time guiding the department acquisition workforce to smarter and leaner purchasing.
He served DoD as an adviser to the Secretary of Defense and eventually Deputy Secretary of Defense where he oversaw the department’s annual budget and its over three million civilian and military personnel, steering strategy and budget through the turmoil of sequester and ensuring the future of the force and institutional best practices. He was a member of both DoD's Defense Policy Board and Defense Science Board, and DoD's Threat Reduction Advisory Council. Carter was twice awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service medal, the highest award given by the Pentagon.