Rudy deLeon is a Senior Fellow in National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. He has served at the Center since 2007 with a focus on US national security issues, and US - China relations. DeLeon's twenty-five-year government career concluded in 2001 after his tenure as Deputy Secretary of Defense, where he served as the Chief operating officer at the Pentagon, a member of the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council, and the National Partnership Council on labor-management issues. In earlier Pentagon assignments, deLeon served as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (1997-2000), and as Under Secretary of the Air Force (1994-1997). He was nominated for these positions by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate.
From November 1985 through 1993, deLeon served on the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of Representatives as a member of the professional staff, and as staff director. In 1986, deLeon participated in the debate and passage of the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which made fundamental changes in military organization and operations. DeLeon began his career in the federal government in 1975, holding various staff positions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
For five years, beginning in 2001, he served as a senior vice president for the Boeing Company, focusing on global trade issues and Washington operations.
During the last five years, in addition to his duties at CAP, deLeon chaired the 2009 DOD review of the civilian National Security Personnel System, was a member of the 2010 QDR Congressional Commission, and currently serves on the Defense Policy Board. He previously served on the Board of Trustees for Loyola-Marymount University chairing the Student Life Committee, and is now a member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of the United States Army, and the Board of Directors for the General Dynamics Corporation. Rudy deLeon earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1974. In 1984, he completed the Executive Program in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
DeLeon received the Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Award in 1994, 1995 and 2001, and received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2001. He was recognized by the National League of POW-MIA Families in 1999 and by the National Military Families Association in 2000.