WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate confirmed the nomination of Eric Fanning to become the next under-secretary of the Air Force April 18 and he began his transition into the office after being sworn in April 29.
“On behalf of the more than 690,000 men and women of the U.S. Air Force, I want to welcome Eric to our Air Force family,” said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. “He will be a tremendous asset to our Air Force and our leadership team. His diverse background in national security matters, coupled with this communications and congressional experience, will enable him to be a champion for our Airmen and their families during this challenging time in the Department of Defense.”
President Obama nominated Fanning Aug. 1, 2012. At that time, he was serving as the deputy under-secretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy.
“I have been immensely proud to serve these last four years with the men and women of the Navy and the Marine Corps, and I look forward to being part of the Air Force family,” Fanning said. “I am honored by this opportunity and look forward to stand beside Secretary Donley in making sure the men and women of this great service receive the support they need in undertaking the mission of defending our country.”
The Air Force has been without an under-secretary since June 2012, when then-Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton was appointed to under-secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Dr. Jamie Morin was appointed to serve as the acting under secretary in July 2012.
“I want to thank Jamie for his dedication to the team as the acting under secretary of the Air Force these last ten months. His command of complex issues and tireless efforts ensured the best interests of the Airmen, their families and the Air Force remained at the forefront of every decision,” Donley said. “We will continue to benefit from his leadership as he continues his role as the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller.”
The under-secretary is responsible for Air Force matters on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force to include the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its Total Force Airmen and their families. He will oversee the service’s annual budget of more than $110 billion, and serve as acting secretary of the Air Force in Donley’s absence. Fanning will also serve as the chief management officer of the Air Force, the senior Air Force energy official and the focal point for space within Air Force Headquarters.
Fanning served as the deputy under-secretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy since 2009. Prior to that position, he was deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. Fanning joined the commission staff from CMG, a strategic communications firm, where he was managing director.
From 2001 to 2006, he was senior vice president for Strategic Development at Business Executives for National Security, or BENS, a Washington, DC-based think tank, where he was in charge of international programs and all regional office operations in six cities across the country.
Previously, Fanning worked at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery, another strategic communications firm. He also worked on the national and foreign assignment desks at CBS National News in New York and has held 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.