Anita K. Blair assumed the duties of Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), on Jan. 7, 2008. In this capacity, she is responsible for matters pertaining to manpower and personnel policy within the Department of the Navy including issues affecting active duty and reserve Sailors, Marines, and Department of the Navy civilians.
In addition, she continues to perform her regular duties as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (Total Force Transformation), a position she has held since February 2005. As DASN (TFX), she is responsible for developing and executing the Department of the Navy’s human capital transformation agenda, to modernize the management of the Department’s total force of active duty, reserve, civilian and contractor personnel. Working closely with the military services, the Department seeks to develop a human capital management system that is agile, flexible, and integrated in support of contemporary requirements, including meeting the challenges of the Global War on Terrorism.
Originally sworn in on Aug. 15, 2001, Anita Blair served as the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Military Personnel Policy from August 2001 until July 2006, and as such, was responsible for policy and oversight of a range of issues related to active duty military personnel and families. Issues included recruiting and retention; training and education; active duty strength and compensation; character, leadership development, and equal opportunity; health affairs; counter drug programs; family support; and morale, welfare and recreation.
In prior public service, Ms. Blair chaired the 1998-1999 Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, which investigated issues such as rules on adultery, fraternization and sexual conduct in the military, as well as the effectiveness of military basic training. The Commission's final report included extensive new scientific studies and surveys of over 30,000 service members. Ms. Blair also served for six years on the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Board of Visitors. She chaired the Board's initial Assimilation Review Task Force, providing continuing oversight of issues related to the admission of women to VMI.
Before joining the Department of the Navy, Ms. Blair had been a lawyer in private practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia since 1981, concentrating in business law and litigation. She served eight years on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Section on Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation Law, which she chaired in 1998-1999. Beginning in 1992 she was also executive vice president and general counsel and later president of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and public education on policy issues concerning women.
Anita Blair attended Catholic schools and received her bachelor's degree in Classical Greek from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1971. She graduated in 1981 from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville.