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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Eric K. Fanning
A National Security Conversation with the Honorable Eric Fanning, 22nd Secretary of the Army
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 05:00pm - 06:00pm
Saxbe Auditorium
Moritz College of Law
Drinko Hall - 55 W 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

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Please note this event will be taking place in the Saxbe Auditorium in Drinko Hall at Moritz College of Law. Find Drinko Hall on a campus map

Eric K. Fanning

The United States has been fortunate over its relatively short history to attract the best and the brightest to public service, providing America with its true competitive advantage: its people. But we cannot take this for granted. Changes in demographics, labor markets, the key drivers of the U.S. and global economies, and new technologies are forcing the Department of Defense, the Army, and the other military services to think creatively about how they more effectively attract the next generation of Americans to a life of public service. Eric Fanning, the 22nd Secretary of the Army, will share his story, discuss why students, faculty, and small business in the Columbus area could do more to contribute to our Nation’s security, and provide recommendations for how they should go about pursuing it.

Eric K. Fanning was appointed 22nd Secretary of the Army by President Obama on May 18, 2016. As Secretary of the Army, he has statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management.

Prior to this appointment, President Obama designated Fanning as acting secretary of the Army, where he served from November 3, 2015, through January 11, 2016, and before that was designated acting under secretary of the Army and chief management officer on June 30, 2015. He served as the secretary of the Army's senior civilian assistant and principal adviser on matters related to the management and operation of the Army, including development and integration of the Army program and budget.

As chief management officer of the Army, he advised the secretary on the effective and efficient organization of the Army's business operations and initiatives for the business transformation of the Army. Fanning previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of defense. He helped manage Secretary of Defense Carter's transition, built his leadership team, and oversaw the day-to-day staff activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

From April 2013 until February 2015, he served as the 24th under secretary of the Air Force. As under secretary and chief management officer of the Air Force, he oversaw an annual budget of more than $110 billion by serving as co-chair of the top Air Force corporate decision making body, the Air Force Council, and also led the Air Force Space Board, Air Force Energy Council, Force Management and Development Council, and numerous other Air Force decision-making bodies.

Zachary Mears

From June 2013 through December 2013 Fanning served as acting secretary of the Air Force. From 2009 to 2013, he served as deputy under secretary of the Navy and deputy chief management officer. In this role, he led the department's business transformation and governance processes and coordinated several efforts to identify enterprise-wide efficiencies. From 2008 to 2009, Fanning was deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which issued its report in December 2008.

He joined the commission staff from CMG, a strategic communications firm, where he was managing director. From 2001 to 2006, Fanning was senior vice president for strategic development at Business Executives for National Security, a Washington, D.C.- based think tank, where he was in charge of international programs and all regional office operations in six cities across the country. He traveled to more than 30 countries, mostly in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to joining BENS, Fanning was at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery, another strategic communications firm. From 1997 to 1998, he worked on the national and foreign assignment desks at CBS National News in New York. From 1991 to 1996, he worked in various political positions in Washington, D.C.: he was a research assistant with the House Armed Services Committee, a special assistant in the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense, and associate director of political affairs at the White House.

Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

The conversation will be moderated by Zachary Mears, assistant vice president for national security programs and research at The Ohio State University.

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