NCS Editorial Research

Here’s a take a look at the lifetime of former US Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter.


Birth date: September 24, 1954

Birth place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Birth title: Ashton Baldwin Carter

Father: William Stanley Carter, a psychiatrist and neurologist

Mother: Anne (Baldwin) Carter

Marriages: Stephanie (DeLeeuw) Carter; Clayton Spencer (divorced)

Children: with Clayton Spencer: William, Ava

Education: Attended Edinburgh University, 1975; Yale University, B.A. in physics and medieval historical past, 1976 (summa cum laude); Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar, Ph.D. in theoretical physics, 1979

Other Facts

Carter has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal on a number of events.

“He’s also a physicist, which means that he’s one of the few people who actually understands how many of our defense systems work,” stated US President Barack Obama throughout his nomination announcement.

Regarding his academic interests in both physics and medieval history, Carter as soon as stated, “There was no relationship between them in my mind except that both fascinated me.” He continued, “It has become a joke among all my friends that, intellectually, I have somehow managed to mix physics and medieval history. It might be an unorthodox combination, but it is an absorbing one.”

Carter has served as a member of the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, the Defense Policy Board, the Defense Science Board, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism.


1980-1981 – Analyst within the Office of Technology Assessment, International Security and Commerce Program, US Congress.

1981-1982 – Analyst in program evaluation and analysis, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

1982-1984 – Serves as a analysis fellow inside the Center for International Studies on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1984-1986 – Assistant professor on the Center for Science and International Affairs (now the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs), John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

1986-1988 – Associate professor, Harvard University.

1988-1990 – Professor and affiliate director of the middle at Harvard University.

1990-1993 – Serves as director of the Center for Science and International Affairs (now the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs), John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

1993-1996 – Serves as assistant secretary of protection for worldwide safety coverage, US Department of Defense.

1998 – Recipient of the Defense Intelligence Medal.

April 2009-October 2011 – Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

August 2, 2011 – President Obama nominates Carter to switch Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III.

September 23, 2011 – The US Senate unanimously confirms Carter because the deputy secretary of protection.

October 6, 2011-December 3, 2013 – Deputy Secretary of Defense.

December 5, 2014 – President Obama nominates Carter to succeed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Hagel’s resignation was introduced November 24, 2014.

February 12, 2015 – Is confirmed by the Senate, 93 to 5, to be the new secretary of defense.

February 17, 2015-January 19, 2017 Serves as the 25th secretary of defense.

July 12, 2016 – Makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to meet with the country’s leaders and visit with US forces who’re battling a resilient Taliban. Carter’s journey comes every week after President Obama’s announcement 8,400 troops will stay in Afghanistan by means of the tip of 2017, a better quantity than the 5,500 troops initially deliberate.

March 28, 2017 – Harvard University’s Kennedy School pronounces that Carter will be a part of the varsity as a professor and as director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

March 29, 2017 – MIT pronounces Carter will function a visiting innovation fellow.

June 11, 2019 – Publishes his guide, “Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon.”

May 5, 2020 – Is elected to General Electric’s Board of Directors.

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