Affairs of the Department of the Air Force

February 6, 2012

Download mp3

Ms. Erin C. Conaton is the Undersecretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. She was confirmed March 4, 2010. Ms. Conaton is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 334,000 men and women on active duty, 176,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, 170,000 civilians, and their families. She also oversees the Air Force's annual budget of more than $119 billion and serves as acting Secretary of the Air Force in the Secretary's absence.

From 2007 until her current appointment, Ms. Conaton served as the Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. As the Staff Director, she served as the primary adviser to the Chairman and 61 other members of the Armed Services Committee. She directed the overall operations, strategic planning and substantive agenda of the committee, to include drafting and overseeing the annual defense authorization bill. Prior to this position, she served as the Minority Staff Director and as a professional staff member on the committee.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Conaton served as the Research Staff Director for the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission. The commission was charged by the Secretary of Defense to design a national security strategy for a changing global environment through 2025 and to recommend plans for implementing this strategy. She has held several fellowships to include at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she worked within the Office of Asia-Pacific and Latin American Analysis, and at the National Security Council, where she worked with the office dealing with non-U.S. proliferation and export controls policy. She has also served as a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.