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ERIC A. PIERCE

Eric A. Pierce, a member of the Senior Executive Service, serves as the Special Assistant and Chief of Staff to the 23rd Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Deborah Lee James. In his position, Mr. Pierce serves as the senior civilian adviser to the Secretary providing policy, communications, legislative and managerial support. He is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of the Secretary’s policies, goals and objectives throughout the Department of the Air Force.  

Earlier in the Obama administration, Mr. Pierce served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in May of 2011.  Previously, Mr. Pierce was a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, the Military Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, and during the Clinton administration was a Defense Department Fellow serving with the U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the National Security Council.  

Mr. Pierce was born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana. His father served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and both parents spent their lives as public school teachers. Mr. Pierce earned a bachelor's degree in history from Louisiana State University, where as a student he was selected to serve in the AmeriCorps pilot program, and earned a master's degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has been a lecturer at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Department of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. 

He is an avid runner, movie buff, and devoted fan of the Washington Nationals.

EDUCATION
1995 Bachelor of Arts, History, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
2006 Master of International Public Policy, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C.

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. 1998 – 1999, Defense Department Fellow – Program Analyst, Office of Program Appraisal, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
2. 1999 – 2000, Defense Department Fellow – Country Directory for Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support, Washington, D.C.
3. 2000 – 2001, Defense Department Fellow – Director, Transnational Threats, Office of Transnational Threats, National Security Council, Washington, D.C.
4. 2001 – 2007, Military Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, Washington, D.C.
5. 2007 – 2009, Fellow and Congressional Liaison, Center for a New American Security, Washington, D.C. 
6. 2009 – 2011, Team Chief for OSD-Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C.
7. 2011 – 2014, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C. 
8. 2014 – present, Special Assistant and Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force       

AWARDS AND HONORS
1993 Team Leader, AmeriCorps Pilot Program
1998 Appointed U.S. Defense Department Fellow
2000 Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Achievement
2007 Appointed “Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska” 
2010 Recipient, Disabled American Veterans Appreciation Award 
2011 The Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service 
2011 Appointed to the Senior Executive Service 
2013 The Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
2014 The Department of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Council on Foreign Relations
George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Higher Achievement Program 

(Current as of January 2016)