Frank Kendall is the 26th Secretary of the Air Force responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. Air and Space Forces. In this capacity, he directs the Department of the Air Force’s annual budget exceeding $168 billion, provides Air and Space forces to combatant commanders for global military operations, and is accountable for the welfare of nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families.
Mr. Kendall has more than 50 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs across private industry, government, and the military. He was a consultant to defense industry firms, non-profit research organizations, and the Department of Defense in the areas of strategic planning, engineering management, and technology assessment. Additionally, he is an attorney and was active in the field of human rights, working primarily on a pro bono basis.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Kendall was Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, providing management and direction to the engineering functions throughout the company and for internal research and development. He also served as a Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense sector consulting firm.
Within government, Mr. Kendall held numerous posts including Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics as well as Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a former member of the Army Science Board and the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Board, and was a consultant to the Defense Science Board.
Mr. Kendall is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served 11 years as an active duty Army officer, including assignments in Germany, teaching Engineering at West Point, and in research and development positions.
1971 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1972 Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
1980 Master of Business Administration, C.W. Post Center of Long Island University, Orangeburg, N.Y.
1994 Graduate, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pa.
2004 Juris Doctoris, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1971 – June 1982, active duty U.S. Army officer, various assignments; continued service as U.S. Army Reserve officer retiring as a lieutenant colonel in January 1999
2. June 1982 – April 1986, Systems Engineer and later Director, Systems Analysis Office, U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala.
3. April 1986 – December 1988, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategic Defense Systems, U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
4. January 1989 – September 1994, Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs, U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
5. December 1994 – November 1996, Vice President for Engineering, Raytheon Company, Herndon, Va.
6. January 1997 – December 2007, private consultant
7. January 2008 – March 2010, Managing Partner, Renaissance Strategic Advisors, Arlington, Va.
8. March 2010 – May 2012, Principal Deputy Under Secretary and also Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
9. May 2012 – January 2017, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
10. July 2017 – July 2021, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.
11. July 2017 – July 2021, Member of the Board of Directors, Leidos, Inc., Arlington, Va.
12. July 2021 – present, Secretary of the Air Force, Department of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Distinguished Public Service Award (four awards)
Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal
Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive (Senior Executive Service)
Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (Senior Executive Service)
2016 Aviation Week and Space Technology Person of the Year (together with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work)
“Getting Defense Acquisition Right,” Defense Acquisition University Press, 2017
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Former Chair of the Board of Directors, Tahirih Justice Center
Former Board Member, Amnesty International USA
Former Board Member, Center for Victims of Torture
Former Board Member, Truman National Security Project
Former Board Member, Truman Center
(Current as of August 2021)