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Chuck Hagel

Past Keynote Speaker, NYLF National Security

U.S. Secretary of Defense (2013-2015)

U.S. Senator (1997-2009)

Co-Chairman President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (2009-2012)

“A true patriotic, bipartisan voice, Chuck Hagel has never shied away from speaking his mind and doing what is right in the face of doing what is politically expedient.”

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 under President Barack Obama. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. Over his tenure, he directed significant steps to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. In addition, he led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault and accounting for missing personnel. Further, Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability and continuity of mental health services and support. Secretary Hagel launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health systems.

A highly consequential member of the U.S. Senate representing the state of Nebraska from 1997 to 2009, Hagel was respected by members of both parties for his ability to create strong alliances to get things done. He built an impressive legislative resume forging lasting change on every major issue facing the country today, including foreign policy, national security, immigration, health care, the economy, energy, Social Security, climate change and issues of global significance. He is the author of America: Our Next Chapter, a straightforward examination of the current state of our nation that provides substantial proposals for the challenges of the 21st century.

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Awards and Recognitions:

The National Intelligence Distinguish Public Service Medal (2015)

The U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service Award (2015)

The Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement