Matthew Donovan is the Acting Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training and equipping and providing for the welfare of 685,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian forces as well as their families. He oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $205 billion and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management across a global enterprise.
Mr. Donovan enlisted in the Air Force in 1977 and received his commission through the Air Force Officer Training School in January 1982. While on active duty, he gained an extensive background in Air Force operations, commanded a fighter squadron and the Air Force Officer Training School, held a variety of operational flying and staff assignments at the wing, major command and joint and combined staff levels, and was an Air Combat Command F-15C demonstration pilot. Mr. Donovan is a graduate of the Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies and the Army Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship. He was a command pilot with more than 2,900 flight hours in the F-15C Eagle and F-5E Tiger II, including combat sorties during Operation Southern Watch.
Mr. Donovan retired from active duty as a colonel in 2008 and became a senior defense policy analyst in the defense industry. He then transitioned to government civil service, culminating as director of staff, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. Following this assignment, Mr. Donovan transitioned to legislative affairs as a professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee. As a professional staff member, he managed all matters for the Committee related to Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps fixed wing aircraft, manned and unmanned tactical aviation programs, and Air Force bomber, mobility and special mission aircraft, as well as research and development, aircraft procurement and sustainment programs. Most recently, Mr. Donovan served as Majority Policy Director for the Senate Armed Services Committee.
1981 Bachelor of Science, technical management, Regis University, Denver, Colo.
1986 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1995 Master’s degree in management, Webster University, St. Louis
1997 Air Command and Staff College, distinguished graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1998 Master’s degree in airpower art and science, USAF School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Master’s degree in military arts and sciences, Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship, U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2012 USAF Leadership Enhancement Program, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.
2013 USAF Enterprise Perspective Seminar, Alan Freed & Associates, Washington, D.C.
1. January 1982 - January 1983, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2. January 1983 - May 1983, Lead-In Fighter Training Course, Holloman AFB, N.M.
3. May 1983 - September 1983, F-15A Basic Operational Course, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. September 1983 - July 1986, F-15A Aircraft Commander and Life Support Officer, then Deputy Chief, F-15 Current Operations, 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, N.M.
5. July 1986 - October 1986, student, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. October 1986 - July 1988, Aggressor F-5E Instructor Pilot, 65th Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. October 1988 - October 1989, Assistant Chief of F-15C Weapons and Tactics, then Chief of Operations Plans, 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland
8. October 1989 - November 1991, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, then Wing Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 2nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
9. November 1991 - January 1994, Air Combat Command F-15 Demonstration Pilot, F-15 Eagle West Coast Demonstration Team, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
10. January 1994 - June 1996, Action Officer, then Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas
11. July 1996 - June 1997, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
12. July 1997 - June 1998, student, USAF School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. October 1998 – March 1999, Assistant Director of Operations, 19th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
14. April 1999 – February 2001, Chief, Standardization and Evaluation Division, 3rd Operations Group, and Director of Operations, 12th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
15. March 2001 - May 2003, Commander, 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
16. June 2003 - May 2004, Fellow, U.S. Army Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
17. June 2004 – June 2006, Chief, Strategy and Policy Division, Assistant Chief of Staff (J5), U.S. Forces Korea, Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea
18. July 2006 – July 2008, Commander, Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
19. October 2008 – March 2009, Senior Defense Policy Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation, Arlington, Va.
20. March 2009 – January 2010, Deputy Chief, Combat Forces Division, Directorate of Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
21. January 2010 – April 2012, Associate Chief, Program Integration Division, Directorate of Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
22. April 2012 – January 2015, Director of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
23. January 2015 – February 2017, Professional Staff Member, Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
24. March 2017– August 2017, Majority Policy Director, Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
25. August 2017 – June 2019, Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
26. June 2019 – present, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
1998 Full Circle? The Transformation of Dedicated Adversary Air Training in the USAF, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 The Future Role of Iraq in the Global War on Terrorism: Divining the Strategy, Combined Arms Research Library, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
(Current as of October 2019)