Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security

HON Milancy D. Harris

Ms. Milancy Harris is the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (USD(I&S)).

Ms. Harris was sworn in as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (DUSD(I&S)) on January 3, 2023.  As DUSD(I&S), Ms. Harris is the deputy to the USD(I&S) who is the principal intelligence, counterintelligence, and security advisor to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) and the SecDef’s principal representative to the Intelligence Community.  

Ms. Harris served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism from February 2021 until December 2022.  In that position, Ms. Harris was responsible for developing policy guidance and overseeing the implementation of all policies, strategies, and plans related to the employment of special operations forces in counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, irregular warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counter proliferation, sensitive special operations, and hostage and personnel recovery activities.

Ms. Harris previously spent 15 years with the U.S. Government focused on intelligence analysis and counterterrorism.  Previous roles included serving as the Chief of Staff of the Directorate of Intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Council staff, and as Deputy Director, Emerging Issues Division at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  Ms. Harris began her career as an intelligence analyst and held positions at NCTC and the Defense Intelligence Agency focused on warning, information operations, and emerging technologies and served as an intelligence briefer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  Outside of government, Ms. Harris’ work focused on governance and institution building for technology companies. 

Originally from Wisconsin, Ms. Harris earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Affairs and English Literature from Marquette University and possesses a Master of Arts degree in Political Management and a Graduate Certificate in International Security Studies from The George Washington University.  She lives in Arlington with her husband, Caleb.