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Director, Military Community Advocacy Directorate
Lee Kelley assumed the duties of director of Military Community Advocacy Directorate for Military Community and Family Policy on Oct. 4, 2021. As director, Ms. Kelley oversees the Office of the Secretary of Defense Family Advocacy Program and Child & Youth Advocacy Program, focused on preventing, intervening and responding to domestic abuse, child abuse and harmful behaviors within the military community.
Prior to her assignment as director, 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 16 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.
In 2016, Ms. Kelley was selected as one of 15 Fellows from an international pool of applicants to participate in the Zero to Three Fellowship Program. The program brings together diverse professionals from multiple disciplines and sectors to be “change agents” to transform and advance programs, systems and policies that impact the lives of infants, toddlers and their families. As part of her fellowship work, she is focusing on mitigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences on military 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 Department of Defense.