Stepped down as Secretary of the Air Force Jan. 20, 2001.
F. Whitten Peters is Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. In that role, he is responsible for ensuring the Air Force can meet its current and future missions. He oversees the recruiting, training and equipping of the 365,000 men and women on active duty, 180,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, and 165,000 civilians of the total force. Peters is further responsible for planning, justifying and allocating the service's annual budget of approximately $71 billion. His other responsibilities include logistical support, maintenance, research and development, and the welfare of Air Force people and their families.
Prior to being appointed to his current position, Peters was the Under Secretary of the Air Force and acting Secretary of the Air Force. Before that he was the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense where he worked a wide range of issues, including acquisition reform, countering domestic terrorism, protecting the department's information systems and affirmative action. Prior to serving as a senior executive with the federal government, Peters was a litigation partner at the District of Columbia law firm of Williams & Connolly, where he specialized in complex civil and criminal litigation, including the defense of government contract fraud, antitrust, tax and security cases. He has extensive experience in representing individuals and corporations in compliance and ethics programs, internal investigations, and suspension and debarment proceedings. He has written and spoken extensively on acquisition reform, legal ethics and criminal law issues.
1968 Bachelor of Arts degree in government and economics, magna cum laude, Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.
1969 Distinguished graduate, Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I.
1973 Master of Science degree in economics, with distinction, London School of Economics, London, England
1976 Doctor of law, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass.
1. 1969 - 1972, U.S. Navy Reserve officer, Fleet Intelligence Center Atlantic, Norfolk, Va.
2. 1972 - 1973, Frank Knox Traveling Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
3. 1975 - 1976, president, Harvard Law Review
4. 1976 - 1977, law clerk to the Honorable J. Skelly Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, D.C.
5. 1977 - 1978, law clerk to the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C.
6. 1978 - 1984, associate, Williams & Connolly Law Firm, Washington, D.C.
7. 1984 - 1995, partner, Williams & Connolly Law Firm, Washington, D.C.
8. 1987 - 1994, member, Legal Ethics Committee, District of Columbia Bar, Washington, D.C.
9. 1988 - 1990, adjunct lecturer, government contracts, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
10. 1990 - 1995, adjunct professor, advanced criminal procedure, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
11. 1991 - 1993, member, Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Law, Washington, D.C.
12. 1991 - 1996, chair, Rules of Professional Responsibility Review Committee, District of Columbia Bar, Washington, D.C.
13. 1993 - 1995, member, Rules Committee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
14. 1995 - 1997, Principal Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
15. 1996 - 1997, government representative, Defense Science Board study on vertical merger policy, Washington, D.C.
16. 1997 - 1999, Under Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
17. 1999 - present, Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service with Bronze Palm
Sears Prize, Harvard Law School
Frank Knox Fellowship, Harvard University
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
American Bar Association
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
District of Columbia Bar
Bars of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Federal, 3rd and 11th circuits
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for Maryland
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Tax Court