Donald H. Rumsfeld
National Leader, Naval Aviator, Distinguished Eagle Scout
As secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld plays a leading role in the global war on terror and in America's efforts to restructure and modernize its armed forces. His current term as defense secretary is actually his second; during the Gerald Ford administration, he led the Defense Department after two years' service as President Ford's chief of staff.
Mr. Rumsfeld has a long and distinguished record of government service. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963 to 1969, directed the Office of Economic Opportunity from 1969 to 1971, led the Economic Stabilization Program from 1971 to 1972, and served as U.S. ambassador to NATO from 1973 to 1974.
After the Ford administration ended, Mr. Rumsfeld served as CEO, president, and then chairman of G. D. Searle & Co., a worldwide pharmaceutical company. He later led General Instrument Corp. as its chairman and CEO. Before joining the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Rumsfeld chaired the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences Inc.
Mr. Rumsfeld attended Princeton University on academic and NROTC scholarships and served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957 as an aviator and flight instructor. In 1957, he transferred to the Ready Reserve and continued his naval service in flying and administrative assignments as a drilling reservist until 1975. He eventually transferred to the Retired Reserve with the rank of captain in 1989.
Among his many honors and recognitions are the George C. Marshall, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Gerald R. Ford medals; the James H. Doolittle and Ronald Reagan Freedom awards; and eleven honorary degrees. Mr. Rumsfeld recently received the BSA's highest honor, the Silver Buffalo Award.
Mr. Rumsfeld and his wife, Joyce, have three grown children.