Dr. Janine Davidson
32nd Under Secretary, Navy
Dr. Janine Davidson is the 32nd Under Secretary of the Navy. On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, she is responsible for all Department of the Navy affairs to include Navy and Marine Corps integration, acquisition, finance, personnel, legislative affairs, and research and development. As Under Secretary, she oversees the management and oversight of an annual budget in excess of $170 billion and is responsible for the health and well-being of nearly 900,000 Sailors, Marines civilians and their families. She also serves as the Chief Management Officer for the Department of the Navy, ensuring efficient management of the Department’s resources through sound business practices.
Secretary Davidson has almost 30 years of experience in military operations, national security policy, and academic research. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans, where she oversaw the formulation and review of military war plans and global force posture policy. Previously, she served as Director for Stability Operations Capabilities in the office of Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Complex Operations, an interagency organization focused on enhancing civilian and military performance in the field.
Following her earlier time in the Pentagon, Davidson served as a presidentially appointed member of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, which recommended changes to service structure and management policies. She also served as a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board and as a senior advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander, NATO.
As an analyst and academic, Davidson was most recently Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she is also a life member. She has taught national security policy and political science at Georgetown University, George Mason University, and Davidson College, and is the author of numerous articles across a range of defense issues. Her 2009 book, Lifting the Fog of Peace: How Americans Learned to Fight Modern War, examines organizational change and institutional learning in the U.S. military.
Davidson grew up in a Navy family in California and Virginia and was commissioned as an Air Force second lieutenant in 1988. She flew combat support, airdrop, and humanitarian air mobility missions in the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East in both the C-130 and the C-17 cargo aircraft, and also served as an instructor pilot at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She was a Distinguished Graduate of Air Force Squadron Officers’ School and was the first woman to fly the Air Force’s tactical C-130.
Davidson received her Master of Arts and a doctorate in international studies from the University of South Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. For her previous civilian government service, Davidson was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.