SC State University Alumnus Appointed as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Clifford StanleyUpon learning that he would serve as the next under secretary of defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley, SC State University alumnus, ’69, described his feelings using two modest words. “I was humbled and honored to be selected for this position as it is very significant and one that you don’t really aspire to,” Stanley exclaimed.

In his current role, which he was appointed to on February 16, 2010, Stanley serves as the senior policy advisor to the secretary of defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million guard and reserve personnel, 680,000 Department of Defense civilians, and is responsible for overseeing the overall state of military readiness. He also oversees training at Department of Defense schools in the United States and internationally, commissaries and hospital training programs.

Although the range of responsibility is staggering, Stanley sees his new position as an opportunity to serve, something that he is not only passionate about, but has prided himself on throughout his entire career. “I come to work smiling everyday because I look forward to serving.  I recognize that God put me here and it’s not about what he has for me but how he wants me to serve his people more than anything else.”

An altruistic person at heart, Stanley is known for helping men and women exceed their expectations while building cohesive teams dedicated to high achievement and selfless service.  He has a proven track record of being a visionary and inspirational leader dedicated to diversity, families, and a true sense of taking care of others.

Stanley is currently focused on achieving pivotal goals and objectives to include safeguarding the ‘all volunteer forces’ and ensuring that military families and wounded warriors consistently receive the proper care that’s needed. His vision also includes implementing tactics that will address other important issues. “I expect to set-up and put in place a structure that will stand the test of time as it relates to issues of diversity, increasing representation of minority women, and tackling gender issues, all while doing it from a readiness perspective,” noted Stanley. He continued, “You can’t do what we do well and sustain it if you don’t have the right people at the table, and I think that takes diversity; therefore, being able to select the best leaders is also critical.”

Stanley attributes his wealth of knowledge and sustainability to his faith in God and having had more than 40 years of leadership experience. Prior to assuming his current position, recognized as the third highest ranked position at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Stanley served as president of Scholarship America, the nation’s largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship organization. Prior to that, he served as the executive vice president on the senior leadership team at the University of Pennsylvania.

A retired United States Marine Corps infantry officer, Stanley served 33 years in uniform, retiring as a major general. His last position was as the deputy commanding general at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va. Additionally, he served as the Marine Corps principal representative to the Joint Requirements Board which supported the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in carrying out his responsibilities.

“I couldn’t have had better preparation. I spent more than eight years in the building (Pentagon) at different times and different ranks, so I understand the chemistry, the sinew and how to build different functions.”

Undoubtedly, another contributing factor to Stanley’s success is his alma mater, SC State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1969. Each summer while growing up, the Washington D.C. native found himself accompanying his father on visits to Conway, S.C. His love for South Carolina, along with his family ties to SC State University, sparked his interest to attend the University.

Stanley said that SC State University offered many opportunities and prepared him for lifelong success. “While at SC State University, I was always pushing to find my own limits and to learn more about myself. I found an environment that was totally supportive. It wasn’t just the fact that it was a small college and everyone knew each other, but everyone was on your side. I was blessed to be in an environment where people really cared about your success, helping you prepare for the future.”

While at SC State University, Stanley served as Student Government Association (SGA) president, junior class president, and a member of organizations such as the men’s ensemble, collegiate corral club, student Christian organization, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and a representative of the South Carolina student legislative branch.  He also worked in the University’s dining hall and shared his zeal with the community by actively volunteering with the local American Red Cross.

Upon graduating from SC State University, Stanley received his Master of Science degree from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., graduating with honors.  He attended the following military schools, receiving formal military education: Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Va., and the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He was a honor graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Va., and National War College in Washington, D.C. Stanley earned his doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., and holds Doctor of Laws degrees from SC State University and Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.

Stanley and his wife, Rosalyn, ‘69, who met during their freshman year at SC State University, reside in Villanova, Pa.  They have one daughter, Navy Lieutenant Commander Angela Stanley, who serves as a Navy nurse practitioner.