77th US Secretary of the Navy
Kenneth J. Braithwaite was sworn in as Acting Secretary of the Navy on 29 May 2020. He had previously served as the 31st U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway. Secretary Braithwaite is the first former U.S. Navy flag officer to serve as Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Braithwaite designated as a naval aviator in April 1986. His first operational
assignment was to Patrol Squadron (VP) 17, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, from where he flew anti-submarine missions tracking adversary submarines throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
In April 1988, Mr. Braithwaite redesignated as a public affairs officer, with his initial tour aboard the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66). Additional duty assignments included Commander, Carrier Group 2 and Commander, Striking Force Sixth Fleet. He made both a North Atlantic Treaty Organization Force (NATO) deployment to the North
Atlantic, operating above the Arctic Circle, and a Mediterranean and Indian Ocean cruise, during which the battle group responded to tensions in the Persian Gulf.
In October 2001, Mr. Braithwaite assumed command of Navy Reserve Fleet Combat Camera Atlantic at NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Braithwaite served as commander of Joint Public Affairs Support Element–Reserve from October 2004 to October 2007. In his final Navy assignment, the Secretary served as the Vice Chief of Information. In this capacity, he was the Navy Reserve liaison and advisor to the Chief of Information, responsible for formulating strategic communication counsel to the leadership of the Department of the Navy. Concurrently, he served as the head of the Navy Reserve public affairs program and as an adjunct advisor to Commander, Navy Reserve Force.
Mr. Braithwaite’s civilian career has included executive leadership roles in the health care and petroleum industries. He also served as a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA).
Kenneth Braithwaite graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in naval engineering and political science. In 1995, he earned a master’s degree in government administration, graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels School of Government.