Donald Loren

Donald Loren Appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Posture

Donald Loren has been appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Posture, replacing the Acting Deputy Assistant, Amanda Dory.

Over the course of his career, the former U.S. Navy rear admiral has served the U.S. government for more than 40 years. He was raised in Massapequa, N.Y., by a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, and he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1974. He would spend 31 years in the military, and his military credits include tours as the commander of a guided missile frigate and a destroyer squadron, staff officer in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, staff officer with U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, and on the Joint Staff, and with the office of the Secretary of Defense.

In 2007, Loren was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security Integration, where he coordinated the Department of Defense’s strategic planning and policy development, capability and resource assessment, strategic communications, congressional activities and educational issues related to homeland security and emergency response.

Loren left the administration in 2009 and turned to the private sector, where he worked as an advisor to government consultants. He was president and CEO of Old Dominion Strategies, LLC, from 2012 until 2017, until the Trump administration named him as the Veterans Affairs assistant secretary for Operations, Security and Preparedness. This position was eliminated in a departmental reorganization in September 2018.

In his new role, Loren will coordinate, schedule, analyze, execute and record In-Progress Review of Campaign and Contingency Plans for the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He will also formulate, coordinate, publish and promulgate Strategic Guidance Statements where short-term changes to the strategic environment require significant alteration of the Secretary of Defense direction. He will advise the Secretary of Defense on discrete planning events where rapid changes to the strategic environment require immediate, and formulate and coordinate Global Defense Posture strategy and policy. The position also calls for Loren to lead DOD efforts to develop standards for assessment and strategic communication as applied to campaign support plans.

Speaking to Homeland Security Today last year, Loren stressed the importance of interpersonal relationships.

“I think the more we learn and progress from an agency to whole-of-government to whole-of-nation approach to these things, that people that have skill sets that are used to doing business and bringing all those things together will be more in demand.” 

And, he noted, there’s a right and wrong way of going about that:

“Helping others, making sure people are safe, being decent, treating other people well. That doesn’t mean you’re not demanding and you don’t require people to do what they have to do, but you can be nice about it.”

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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