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Robert F. Hale
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
Assumed office
10 February 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Tina W. Jonas
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller)

In office
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Michael B. Donley
Succeeded by Michael Montelongo
Personal details
Born January 21, 1947(1947-01-21) (age 75)
Sacramento, California

Robert F. Hale (born 1947) is the United States Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller). Hale has over thirty years of experience as a professional financial manager serving in a wide range of national defense related roles. In addition to his current position as Under Secretary of Defense and his previous appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Hale has also served in the National Security Division of the Congressional Budget Office and as Executive Director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. Hale is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former member of the Defense Business Board.

Early life

Hale was born on January 21, 1947.[1] He was raised in Fairfield, California, graduating from Armijo High School in 1964. He attended Stanford University, graduating with honors and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and statistics. He earned a Master’s degree in operations research from Stanford, and later a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.[1][2][3][4]

Hale spent three years on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy, serving first with a Navy security group in Okinawa, Japan and then in Washington, D.C. After completing his Navy tour in 1972, he took a civilian position at the Center for Naval Analyses, serving as an analyst and later a study director.[2][5] In 1975, Hale joined Logistics Management Institute or LMI, a not-for-profit consulting firm specializing in service to the Federal government. He was selected as a fellow of the institute, and eventually, headed LMI’s acquisition and grants management group.[1][3][6]

Public service

After leaving LMI, Hale took a key position at the Congressional Budget Office, non-partisan agency that supports the United States Congress. During his tenure at the Congressional Budget Office, Hale was responsible for analyzing major defense budget issues. He also frequently testified before Congressional committees regarding the results of budget studies conducted by the Congressional Budget Office. He headed the Congressional Budget Office’s National Security Division for twelve year before President Bill Clinton nominated Hale to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller).[1][3][4]

Hale served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller) from 1994 to 2001. As chief financial officer for the United States Air Force, Hale was responsible for annual budgets of approximately $70 billion. During his tenure, Hale initiated important process changes that streamlined the Air Force’s financial management system to bring it into compliance with the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990.[1][3][4][5] When he left the Air Force, the American Society of Military Comptrollers selected Hale to be the society's full-time Executive Director. The society offers career development opportunities and financial management training to its 18,000 members. During his tenure as Executive Director, Hale was a strong advocate for the society's professional certification program, a challenging four part examination leading to recognition as a Certified Defense Financial Manager. Hale planned and conducted the society’s National Professional Development Institute, an annual conference that offers training to over 3,500 participants. He was also responsible for publishing the society’s well respected professional journal, Armed Forces Comptroller.[1][3][4][7]

Defense comptroller

Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller, Robert Hale, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testify to the House Armed Services Committee on the FY 2011 Department of Defense budget request at the Rayburn House Office Building on February 3, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama nominated Hale to be Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) on 9 January 2009. During his confirmation hearing on 15 January 2009, Hale reminded the Senate Armed Services Committee that he had over thirty years of experience in defense related financial management. The United States Senate confirmed his appointment on 9 February 2009. As chief financial officer for the Department of Defense, Hale is the principal advisor to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on all fiscal matters including the development and execution of the department’s annual budget, which at time of his appointment, was over $600 billion (including war supplemental spending). Hale is also responsible for financial policy, accounting and financial reporting, financial management systems, and business modernization efforts within the defense department.[3][4][8]

Other accomplishments

Hale is a Certified Defense Financial Manager and a past national president of the American Society of Military Comptrollers (1997–1998). He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former member of the Defense Business Board, a high-level Pentagon advisory panel. Hale was a member of the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare, which issued a report in June 2008 on how to create a cost-effective healthcare system for military members and their families.[1][3][5][9]

Denied Death benefits to 5 soldiers Families killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan during the 2013 Government shutdown.[10]


Hale has received several prestigious awards for his public service.[1] They include:

  • Department of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award
  • Air Force Distinguished Service Award
  • National Defense Medal


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 111th Congress", hearing testimony, Senate Armed Services Committee, United States Congress, 15 January 2009, pp. 113-115.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Honorable Robert F. Hale Welcome Aboard!", Interview, Air Force Comptroller (Vol. 28, No. 3), Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1 July 1994, pp.4-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Robert F. Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer", Official Biography, Officer of the Secretary of Defense, United States Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., 25 April 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "President-elect Obama announces key Department of Defense posts", Press Release, Office of the President-Elect,, Washington, D.C., 8 January 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Obama Chooses Hale for Pentagon Position", The Hill, Capitol Hill Publishing Corporation, Washington, D.C., 7 January 2009.
  6. "About LMI", LMI Government Consulting, McLean, Virginia, 26 April 2009.
  7. " ASMC History', American Society of Military Comptrollers,, Alexandria, Virginia, 26 April 2009.
  8. Hale, Robert F., "Answers to Advance Questions for Robert F. Hale, Nominee for Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)", testimony before the Armed Services Committee, United States Senate, Washington, D.C., 15 January 2009.
  9. "Today’s Guest Speaker", ASMC Washington Chapter Newsletter, American Society of Military Comptrollers, Washington, D.C., 12 June 2006.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Michael B. Donley
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller)
1994 – 2001
Succeeded by
Michael Montelongo
Preceded by
Tina W. Jonas
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
9 February 2009 – present
Succeeded by

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