Lee Kelley

Lee Kelley assumed the duties of principal director of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy in June 2023. As principal director, Ms. Kelley supports the deputy assistant secretary of defense in leading a broad portfolio that includes policy, advocacy and oversight of all community support to service members and their families, including quality-of-life issues; key legislative and policy issues affecting military families; family, child and youth programs; the Military OneSource program and non-medical counseling resources; military spouse career advancement; morale, welfare and recreation; defense resale policy for commissaries and exchanges; and family advocacy programs. Her oversight also includes casualty and mortuary affairs, and military funeral honors.

Prior to assuming the duties of principal director, Ms. Kelley led the Military Community Advocacy directorate focused on preventing, intervening and responding to domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, as well as harmful behaviors in military children and youth.

Between 2017 and 2021, Ms. Kelley served as director of Military Community Support Programs, responsible for the leadership, management and oversight of three centrally funded Defense Department multimillion-dollar programs — Military OneSource, Military and Family Life Counseling and the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program.

Ms. Kelley has worked with service members, veterans and military families for more than 20 years. She enlisted in the U.S. Army following 9/11 and served for more than five years as a broadcast journalist covering stories around the world for the military. Following her enlistment, she worked with the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program and Warrior Transition Command.

Ms. Kelley’s service in the Army and work with wounded warrior families inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in social work, awarded by the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service in 2015. She completed her first-year field work with D.C. Department of Mental Health Homeless Outreach Program, working with families experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C. Her advanced-year clinical field placement took place at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in the Department of Behavioral Health where she provided therapy for service members and their families. Ms. Kelley also holds a Master of Communications degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University.

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for programs and policies that establish and support community quality-of-life programs for service members and their families worldwide. This office also serves as the focal point for coordination for a broad range of quality-of-life issues within the Defense Department.

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