Dr. William J. Perry was sworn in as Secretary of Defense on February 3, 1994, following a unanimous vote by the Senate. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from March 5, 1993, until his confirmation as Secretary. Prior to his nomination to these positions, he was the Chairman of Technology Strategies Alliances, a professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, and Co-Director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control.
Dr. Perry was born Oct. 11, 1927 in Vandergrift, PA. He attended Butler High School, in Butler, PA. graduating in 1945. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Penn State, all in mathematics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
From 1946 until 1947, Dr. Perry was a noncommissioned officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, serving in Japan and Okinawa. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves in 1950. He remained in the reserves until 1955.
Dr. Perry's extensive experience as an entrepreneur includes being on of the founders of ESL Inc., in 1964, and serving as its president until 1977. Prior to that, he was with Sylvania/General Telephone and was the Director of their Electronic Defense Laboratories. He has also served as Executive Vice President of Hambrecht and Quist Incorporated, an investment banking firm in San Francisco specializing in high technology companies.
From 1977 to 1981, Dr. Perry was Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. As Under Secretary, he was responsible for all weapon systems procurement and all research and development. He was the Secretary of Defense's principal advisor on technology, communications, intelligence, and atomic energy.
He received the Army's Outstanding Service Medal in 1977, the Department of Defense's Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1980 and again in 1981, and NASA's Distinguished Service Medal in 1981. He was awarded the 1980 Medal of Achievement by the American Electronics Association. The Federal Republic of Germany awarded him the Knight Commander's Cross in 1981, and the French government conferred the Grand Officer de I'Ordre National du Merite in 1982. He received the James Forrestal Memorial Award for 1993 in March 1994.
Dr. Perry has served as a director of FMC Corporation, United Technologies Corporation, and a number of private companies. He has also been a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and served on a number of U.S. Government Advisory boards, including the President's Foreign Intelligence advisory Board and the Technical Review Panel of the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence. He was a member of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, and the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Science.
His wife, Lee, is a CPA, formerly associated with the firm of Hemming and Morse in San Mateo. Secretary Perry and Mrs. Perry have two sons living in the San Francisco area, a son and a daughter in the Washington, D.C. area, and a daughter in New York.