Military Wiki
John Hamre
Hamre during a press briefing at the Pentagon in 2000
United States Deputy Secretary of Defense

In office
July 1997 – January 2000
Preceded by John P. White
Succeeded by Rudy de Leon
Personal details
Born July 3, 1950(1950-07-03) (age 72)
Watertown, South Dakota
Nationality United States
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Julia Pfanstiehl, since September 4, 1976
Residence Bethesda, Maryland
Alma mater Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Harvard Divinity School
Augustana College
Religion Lutheran
home town Clark, South Dakota
avocation woodworking
Website John J. Hamre - Center for Strategic and International Studies

John J. Hamre (born July 3, 1950 in Watertown, South Dakota) is a specialist in international studies, a former Washington government official and President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a position he has held with that think tank since January, 2000.


Hamre is the son of Melvin Sanders and Ruth Lucile (Larson) Hamre. He earned a B.A. (with high distinction) in political science and economics from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1972).[3] The following year he was a Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. He earned an Master of Arts (1976) and Ph.D. (1978) with distinction from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.[3][5]

Government service

John Hamre, President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, D.C. in February 2013

Hamre served in the Congressional Budget Office (1978–1984), where he became its deputy assistant director for national security and international affairs. In that position, he oversaw analysis and other support for committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the 1980s, he worked for ten years at the Senate Armed Services Committee.[2] During that time, he was primarily responsible for the oversight and evaluation of procurement, research and development programs, defense budget issues, and relations with the Senate Appropriations Committee.[5]

Hamre was DoD Comptroller (1993–1997) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (1997–1999), both under President Bill Clinton.[2][5]

The Senate appointed Hamre (2001) to the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.[6]

Hamre worked on the Obama transition team. He is chairman of the Defense Policy Board.[1][6] Hamre's continued involvement in the defense establishment have put him on the short list for the position of Secretary of Defense multiple times, including during the formation of the first term of the Obama administration and most recently after the president's re-election in 2012.[7]


In 2008, the Norwegian King Harald V appointed Hamre Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his efforts "to promote collaboration between Norwegian and American politicians, authorities and researchers".[8]

Publications (partial list)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Baker, Peter (November 18, 2008). "The New Team - John J. Hamre". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  2. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "John J. Hamre." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. Document Number: K2013019745. Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library.
  3. Gertz, Bill (February 9, 1998). "John Hamre, choirboy". National Review. Retrieved 2009-11-10. [dead link]
  4. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "John J. Hamre Center for Strategic and International Studies". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  5. 6.0 6.1 "President Obama Appointee Profile - John Hamre". Military Families United. January 23, 2009. pp. 3–7. Retrieved 2009-11-10. [dead link]
  6. "Who Will Be the Next Secretary of Defense". Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  7. "John Hamre Appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway). 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
Political offices
Preceded by
John P. White
United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
Succeeded by
Rudy de Leon

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