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Meet the Experts: The Hon. Donald Rumsfeld

Donald_Rumsfeld_Headshot   Donald_Rumsfeld_WF2011

The 13th and 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld published his number one New York Times bestselling memoir, Known and Unknown, in 2011. The book spans his career and includes extensive primary source documentation on his supporting website ( He is currently authoring his second book on Rumsfeld’s Rules to be published in 2013. Mr. Rumsfeld and his wife Joyce chair the non-profit Rumsfeld Foundation, which supports microfinance development projects, fellowships for graduate students interested in public service, exchange programs for young leaders from nations in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and charitable causes that benefit the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. All proceeds from sales of his memoir go to the military charities sponsored by the Rumsfeld Foundation.  

Donald Rumsfeld completed his second tour as the 21st Secretary of Defense on December 18, 2006.  During his tenure, Secretary Rumsfeld led the Defense Department in the response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, to include the liberation of Afghanistan from the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

From 1977 to 1985 he served as Chief Executive Officer, President, and then Chairman of G.D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical company. The successful turnaround there earned him awards as the Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Pharmaceutical Industry from the Wall Street Transcript (1980) and Financial World (1981). Mr. Rumsfeld served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Instrument Corporation from 1990 to 1993. Until being sworn in as the 21st Secretary of Defense, Mr. Rumsfeld was Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences, Inc., a pharmaceutical company.

While in the private sector, Mr. Rumsfeld's civic activities included service as a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the boards of trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the National Park Foundation, and as Chairman of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, Inc., as well as service on a number of corporate boards of directors.

Mr. Rumsfeld has been awarded 11 honorary degrees and has received foreign awards and honors from the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, and Ukraine. In 1977, Mr. Rumsfeld was awarded our country’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Information the Rumsfeld Foundation can be found at  The Rumsfeld Foundation is an section 501(c)(3) organization.