Donald B. Rice was the 17th secretary of the Air Force.
He was born in Frederick, Md., in 1939. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1961, a master's degree in industrial management in 1962, and a doctorate in economics in 1965, both from Purdue University. He was awarded three honorary degrees: doctor of engineering by Notre Dame in 1975, doctor of management by Purdue in 1985 and doctor of laws by Pepperdine University in 1989.
In April 1972 Rice became president and chief executive officer of The RAND Corp., an independent, nonprofit, public service institution which conducts research and analysis on problems of national security and domestic affairs, and doctoral degree programs in several fields of public policy. He served in that capacity until May 1989, resigning to accept appointment by President Bush as secretary of the Air Force.
From September 1970 to April 1972, he served as assistant director in the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for budgeting, program analysis and management improvement activities in the areas of agriculture, atomic energy, commerce, energy, environment, natural resources, public works, science and technology, space and transportation.
From February 1969 to September 1970, he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for resource analysis. He was responsible for analysis of cost, manpower and logistics requirements, preparation of fiscal guidance issued by the secretary to the military services and the coordination of DOD's program and budget planning with the National Security Council. He had served as director of cost analysis in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from June 1967.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps upon graduation from Notre Dame in June 1961. From June 1965 to June 1967, he served on active duty as first lieutenant and then captain in the U.S. Army. During that time, he was assistant professor of management and acting deputy director for academics at the Navy Management Systems Center, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
From 1975 to 1977 he was appointed by the president to serve as chairman of the National Commission on Supplies and Shortages. He then was requested by the president to direct a resources management review for the secretary of defense, which he conducted from 1977 to 1979. From 1974 to 1986, he served two terms on the National Science Board.
Rice has published articles, reports and papers dealing with economic policy, government organization and budgeting, defense resources management, energy systems, strategic capabilities and arms control, regulatory problems, and analytical techniques.
He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award in September 1970. He also was a Ford Foundation fellow.