WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight, the White House announced that Robert Wilkie, senior advisor to Senator Thom Tillis, has been nominated to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Wilkie has served as Senator Tillis’ senior advisor since he took office in 2015, advising him on national security and military issues. Tillis currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, which handles all quality of life issues for servicemembers and military families.
Wilkie previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs under Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld. He also served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for National Security Affairs and as Senior Director of the National Security Council under Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Wilkie is assigned to the Headquarters of the United States Air Force. Prior to joining the Air Force, Wilkie served in the United States Navy Reserve with Naval Special Warfare Group Two and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Wilkie is a graduate of the College of Naval Command and Staff, Air Command and Staff College, the United States Army War College, and the Joint Forces Staff College. He is the recipient of the Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award of the Department.
Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University of New Orleans, a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University, a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and an Honors degree in Politics from Wake Forest University.
Senator Tillis issued the following statement on Wilkie’s nomination:
“Robert Wilkie has been indispensable as my senior advisor, and his nomination is a crystal clear indication that Secretary of Defense Mattis is committed to choosing the highest caliber people possible to help him lead the Pentagon. A proud native of Fayetteville, Robert is deeply respected by North Carolina’s military community, and he has worked closely with me over the last three years to help ensure North Carolina’s military installations have the resources and assets they need to serve America’s national security mission. It’s no surprise that Robert has also served as a valuable resource to other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee because of his unparalleled experience, wisdom, and insight when it comes to military issues and understanding of the challenges facing our men and women in uniform. Robert is the perfect choice to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and I can’t wait to keep working closely with him on behalf of North Carolina and our servicemembers and military families.”