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Eric K. Fanning
United States Secretary of the Air Force
Assumed office
June 21, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Michael B. Donley
Personal details
Born 1968/1969 (age 52–53)
Michigan, United States
Alma mater Dartmouth College (B.A.)
Occupation government official

Eric K. Fanning is an American civil servant who has been acting U.S. Secretary of the Air Force since June 21, 2013.

Born in Michigan,[1] Fanning grew up in the Dayton, Ohio, area. He graduated from Centerville High School in Ohio in 1986 and received his B.A. in history from Dartmouth College in 1990.[2] His interest in government and politics began when he participated in the 1988 New Hampshire primary contest.[3] In the 1990s, he was on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee and later a special assistant in the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense. For a time he was associate director of political affairs at the White House.

He also worked at Business Executives for National Security, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank and at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery, a strategic communications firm in New York City.

He served as deputy under secretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy beginning in July 2009. He was also deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.[4] President Obama nominated him to be United States Under Secretary of the Air Force on August 1, 2012.[5] He testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 28, 2013.[6] The U.S. Senate confirmed him on April 18, 2013.[7] He assumed the position of acting secretary of the Air Force upon the resignation of Michael Donley on June 21, 2013.[8]

He is the highest ranking openly gay member of the Department of Defense.[2] He was a member of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund from 2004 to 2007. He favors the adoption by the U.S. military of a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. He has said: "I personally like to see these things in writing and codified." He has expressed a preference for the establishment of such a policy by the Department of Defense rather than the Obama administration: "My view about government is you should always use those resources that are available to you first before you move up to the next level, so I think there are a number of things we can do inside this building for the Department of Defense". He supports allowing openly transgender persons to serve in the military as well.[3] Fanning is single and lives in Washington, D.C.[3]


  1. Schogol, Jeff (June 21, 2013). "Donley retires; Under Secretary Fanning becomes acting AF secretary". Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bornstein, Daniel (August 7, 2013). "Obama taps alum. for top Air Force position". Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Johnson, Chris (May 31, 2013). "Soaring at the Air Force". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  4. Schogoll, Jeff (June 21, 2013). "Donley retires; Under Secretary Fanning becomes acting AF secretary". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  5. "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". August 1, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  6. "USecAF nominee testifies before Senate committee". March 1, 2013. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  7. Johnson, Chris (April 19, 2013). "Senate confirms gay official as Air Force under secretary". Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  8. "Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning sworn in". June 21, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 

External resources

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