Former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense
Jen is the former chief of staff to the Honorable Dr. Mark T. Esper, the twenty-seventh Secretary of Defense. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading the Secretary of Defense’s executive staff, working with civilian executives and senior military leaders across the Department, and providing counsel and advice to the Secretary on all matters concerning the Department.
Previously, Jen served as both the majority and minority staff director at the House Committee on Armed Services for the Honorable William M. “Mac” Thornberry. In this capacity, she was the principal staff advisor responsible for the formulation, passage, and enactment of annual defense authorization legislation, which covers all programs and activities at the Department of Defense as well as the national security programs at the Department of Energy. She was also responsible for the strategic planning and execution of all committee oversight and legislative operations.
Prior to her tenure as staff director, Jen served as senior advisor to General (ret.) Joseph F. Dunford during his first term as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this role, she was responsible for facilitating his relationships across the interagency and with Congress. She also co-led the Joint Staff’s presidential transition team.
Jen started her career working in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Honorable John A. Boehner. In addition to serving as policy advisor on all national security matters for Speaker Boehner during his ten years in leadership, she also served in a similar role in assisting the Honorable Paul D. Ryan transition into his responsibilities as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Overall, she has nineteen years of public service, including over fifteen consecutive years of serving in senior national security positions at both the Department of Defense and in Congress.