Rockefeller College Lifetime Achievement Award
The Honorable John M. McHugh, MPA '77
Secretary of the Army
Mr. John M. McHugh was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Army on September 21, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the United States Senate.
As Secretary of the Army, he has statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management. Secretary McHugh is responsible for the Department of the Army's annual budget and supplemental of over $200 billion. He leads a work force of more than 1.1 million active duty, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers, 221,000 Department of the Army civilian employees, and 213,000 contracted service personnel. He has stewardship over 14 million acres of land.
At the time of his appointment as Secretary of the Army, Mr. McHugh was a sitting member of Congress representing Northern and Central New York. During his nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, he earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for soldiers and their families, working tirelessly to ensure they have proper facilities, training, and the quality of life necessary to carry out wartime missions while caring for those at home.
As a Member of Congress, Mr. McHugh served as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) with responsibility to oversee the policies and programs for the Department of Defense and each of the Armed Forces. Before becoming Ranking Member, Congressman McHugh was first the Chairman of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Panel and then Chairman and later Ranking Member of the Committee's Subcommittee on Military Personnel. Mr. McHugh also served as a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and for six years as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Postal Service that significantly reformed the Postal Service. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. McHugh was a member of the House International Relations Committee. Subsequently, from 2005 to 2009, he served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Mr. McHugh was also a 14-year member of the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors. At the time of his nomination, Mr. McHugh was co-chair of the House Army Caucus, a bipartisan organization that works to educate fellow House Members and their staffs about Army issues and programs.
Secretary McHugh was born in Watertown, New York, where he began his public service career in 1971 as the Confidential Assistant to the City Manager. In 1976, he joined the staff of New York State Senator H. Douglas Barclay, with whom he served as Chief of Research and Liaison with local governments for nine years. Succeeding Senator Barclay in 1984, Mr. McHugh served four terms in the legislature's upper house before his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992.
Mr. McHugh received a BA in Political Science from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1970, and earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York's Nelson A. Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs in 1977.