Military Wiki
Rudolph F. de Leon
Rudy de Leon in 1997
Deputy Secretary of Defense

In office
March 31, 2000 – March 16, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by John Hamre
Succeeded by Paul Wolfowitz
Personal details
Born August 28, 1952(1952-08-28) (age 70)
Alma mater Loyola Marymount University

Rudolph "Rudy" F. de Leon (born August 28, 1952) is an American former senior Department of Defense official, military adviser, lobbyist,[1] and foreign policy adviser.[2] He served as the Deputy Secretary of Defense, described as the "second-highest civilian defense position", from March 31, 2000 until March 16, 2001, and before appointed as Deputy Secretary he had served as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness from 1997 until 2000 and as Under Secretary of the Air Force from 1994 to 1997 in the administration of Bill Clinton.[3] As of 2011, he is Senior Vice President of National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington.


De Leon earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1974, and in 1984 he completed the executive program in national and international security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Government career

De Leon began his career in the federal government in 1975, and held various positions for 25 years until 2001. He had staff positions in the Senate and House of Representatives. From 1985 through 1993, he served on the Committee on Armed Services as a member of the professional staff and director. In 1986, he participated in the debate and passage of the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which made fundamental changes in military organization and operations. He was a top aide to Les Aspin in 1993.[4] He was nominated by then-president Bill Clinton, and confirmed by the Senate, for the positions of undersecretary of the Air Force from 1994 to 1997, and undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness from 1997 to 2000. He worked with civilian Pentagon officials on matters such as ending discrimination within the military,[5] decisions about awarding Medals of Honor to military service personnel,[6] as well as preventing biological terrorism by inoculations against anthrax.[7] As Deputy Defense Secretary, he had authority over matters such as decisions by the Air Force regarding military spy planes.[8] According to a website from the Center for American Progress, he received the Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Award in 1994, 1995, and 2001, and received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2001, and was recognized by the National League of POW-MIA Families in 1999 and by the National Military Families Association in 2000.


De Leon worked for the Boeing Corporation as a senior vice president from 2001 to 2006, managing the Washington office. In 2007, he was described as having hired the influential lobbying firm of Cassidy and Associates, which was a firm described by the Washington Post as "one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington."[1]

Other activities

De Leon has served as a college lecturer as well as foreign policy expert for the Center for American Progress. He has written numerous articles on matters of foreign policy and military policy.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Citizen K Street: How Lobbying Became Washington's Biggest Business -- Cast of Characters: Here are some key figures in the 30-year story of Cassidy & Associates, one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington.". Washington Post. 2007. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Rudy De Leon, longtime aide to former Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), deputy secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and head of the Washington office of the Boeing Corp., which employed Cassidy & Associates." 
  2. Glenn Kessler (2007-12-27). "The Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Other foreign policy "advisers" -- Clinton Advisers -- Rudy De Leon, Deputy defense secretary" 
  3. "Deputy at Defense Is Leaving Office". The New York Times. January 11, 2000. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Pentagon officials said Mr. Clinton was expected to nominate Rudy De Leon, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, to take over the second-highest civilian defense position for what remains of the president's term. Like Dr. Hamre, Mr. De Leon arrived at the Pentagon in 1993 in Mr. Aspin's short tenure and stayed on." 
  4. ERIC SCHMITT (July 14, 1993). "Aspin Reported To Have Settled On Gay Policy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Mr. Sheridan said he and Ms. Feld blum, the group's legal director, met with Rudy de Leon, a top aide to Mr. Aspin who has been brokering the delicate negotiations, and Jamie Gorelick, the Pentagon's general counsel." 
  5. ERIC SCHMITT (April 16, 1993). "Pentagon Speeds Plan to Lift Gay Ban". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Under the direction of a senior aide to Mr. Aspin, Rudy de Leon, top civilian Pentagon officials are seeking to write an executive order by July 15 that meets President Clinton's goal to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that is acceptable to Congress and the armed forces. 'Practical Resolution'" 
  6. Associated Press (August 23, 1998). "Vietnam Unknown's Medal to Stay With Tomb". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "ST. LOUIS — The Medal of Honor that hung on the Tomb of the Unknowns for 14 years while Air Force Lt. Michael J. Blassie was buried there will not join him at his new burial place. Relatives of the Vietnam War casualty, whose remains were identified and moved this summer to a national cemetery near his home, were told by Undersecretary of Defense Rudy de Leon that their request for the medal had been denied." 
  7. ELAINE SCIOLINO (July 13, 2000). "Anthrax Vaccination Program Is Failing, Pentagon Admits". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon called the anthrax threat immediate, real and constant." 
  8. PETER PAE (January 7, 2001). "Military Is Sold on Unmanned Spy Plane". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. "Last week, the argument appears to have in part swayed Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon to scuttle Air Force's request to add $1 billion over the next five years to speed up production of the aircraft. De Leon cited budget constraints but he was also troubled by lack of consensus among some commanders who advocated a cautious approach to the plane's development." 

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Anne N. Foreman
Under Secretary of the Air Force
1994 – 1997
Succeeded by
F. Whitten Peters
Preceded by
Edwin Dorn
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
1997 – 2000
Succeeded by
Bernard D. Rostker
Preceded by
John Hamre
Deputy Secretary of Defense
Succeeded by
Paul Wolfowitz

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