Reforming DoD’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution Process for a Competitive Future

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Event Details


Thursday, February 8, 2024


3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern


The U.S. national security community faces a rise in global threats and a rapidly changing technological environment that offers both challenges and opportunities for the future fight. Adversaries and competitors are contesting the United States’ traditional edge in innovation, agility, global power projection, and ability to shape the strategic environment. To stay competitive, the United States must be able to engage with industry, harness technological advances, and field new capabilities with unaccustomed speed and flexibility—and to do so within ever-tightening budget constraints.

Congress, the Department of Defense, and other key stakeholders are working on once-in-a-generation changes to the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE) process to foster greater speed, agility, and innovation. The congressionally mandated Commission on PPBE Reform will present an opportunity to advance these efforts when it submits its final report to Congress in March 2024.

This virtual event will bring together a distinguished panel of leaders to discuss their visions for PPBE reform. The event will feature

Learn More about PPBE Reform

The PPBE Reform Commission maintains a website detailing its activities, including the commission's interim report.

Additionally, findings from a series of 2024 RAND reports are described in a recent National Security Up Front on PPBE reform.

About the Speakers

Chuck Hagel

The Honorable Chuck Hagel

former Secretary of Defense

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015. During his tenure, he directed significant steps to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. In addition, he led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault, and accounting for missing personnel. Further, Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability, and continuity of mental health services and support. Secretary Hagel launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health system. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

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The Honorable Bob Hale

The Honorable Bob Hale

Chair of the PPBE Reform Commission

Hon. Robert Hale is a currently a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the board of the Air Force Aid Society.

Most recently, Hale served as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Defense, where he managed a $600 billion budget in wartime and oversaw efforts by the Department to minimize the problems caused by the 2013 sequestration and government shutdown. He also made significant improvements in defense financial management, making tangible progress toward auditable financial statements and establishing a course-based certification program for defense financial managers.

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Eric Fanning

The Honorable Eric Fanning

Commissioner, PPBE Reform Commission

Hon. Eric Fanning is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the leading advocacy organization for the aerospace and defense industry with nearly 350 companies in its membership – ranging from multinational prime contractors to family-owned businesses. As AIA’s leader, Fanning develops the association’s strategic priorities and works with member CEOs to advocate for policies and responsible budgets that keep our country strong, bolster our capacity to innovate and spur our economic growth. Fanning joined AIA after serving as the 22nd Secretary of the Army.

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The Honorable Frank Kendall III

The Honorable Frank Kendall III

Secretary of the Air Force

Frank Kendall is the 26th Secretary of the Air Force responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. Air and Space Forces. In this capacity, he directs the Department of the Air Force’s annual budget exceeding $173 billion, provides Air and Space forces to combatant commanders for global military operations, and is accountable for the welfare of nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families.

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The Honorable Dr. William A. LaPlante

The Honorable Dr. William A. LaPlante

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Senate-confirmed in April 2022, the Honorable Dr. William A. LaPlante serves as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)). In this role, he is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; contract administration; logistics and materiel readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; nuclear, chemical, and biological defense; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base.

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Lara Sayer

Ms. Lara Sayer

Executive Director for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform

Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Sayer served as a part of the Senior Executive Service as the Comptroller for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC), where she had oversight of annual appropriations in excess of $12B. Ms. Sayer also served as the Comptroller for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for United States Special Operations Command. Ms. Sayer has also served in several senior positions in the acquisition, budget, and resource management sectors throughout her career. Ms. Sayer holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Business Administration from Wright State University. She also has a Masters in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University.
Stephanie Young


Dr. Stephanie Young

Director, Resource Management Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE

Stephanie Young is the director of the Resource Management Program at RAND Project AIR FORCE, a senior political scientist at RAND, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She manages a diverse portfolio of research in support of the Department of the Air Force on topics related to acquisition, logistics, industrial base, sustainment, installations/infrastructure, and organizational design. Her primary research interests relate to defense acquisition; budgeting; the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution system (PPBE); and broader resource allocation decisionmaking, but other recent work has focused on strategic competition, security cooperation and building partner capacity, countering-weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. policy in the Middle East and South Asia.

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