Theresa Whelan is the current Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security (HD&GS). Prior to this position, she served as the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Ms. Whelan is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and has over thirty years of experience in the fields of defense intelligence, defense policy, and national intelligence communities.
She has served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Senior Program Director for the US/South Africa Joint Defense Committee, and has held three different deputy assistant secretary of defense positions within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy: Homeland Defense Domains and Defense Support to Civil Authorities, Defense Continuity and Crisis Management, and African Affairs. In addition to her work at the Department of Defense she has also served as the national intelligence officer for Africa on the Director for National Intelligence's National Intelligence Council.
Her awards include three Presidential Rank Executive Awards, two at the Distinguished level and one at the Meritorious level; two Department of Defense Medals for Distinguished Civilian Service; the National Intelligence Superior Service Medal; the American University Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership; the Paul H. Nitze Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs, and the French National Order of Merit. Ms. Whelan has a Master's degree in national security studies from Georgetown University, a Master's degree in national security strategy from the National War College, and a bachelor's degree in international relations with a minor in Russian studies from the College of William and Mary.