Home » Documents » Document: White House Announcement on Philip Bilden As Navy Secretary

Document: White House Announcement on Philip Bilden As Navy Secretary

The following is a Jan. 25 statement on President Donald Trump’s selection of Philip Bilden as the next Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, DC – President Donald J. Trump today announced his intention to nominate Philip Bilden as the 76th Secretary of the Navy.

Mr. Bilden, a highly successful business leader, former Military Intelligence officer, and Naval War College cybersecurity leader will bring strategic leadership, investment discipline, and Asia Pacific regional and cyber expertise to the Department of the Navy.

Bilden has longstanding trusted relationships with senior military leaders, particularly in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, through his years of national security engagement, including service on the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Academy Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the Naval War College Foundation. Mr. Bilden understands the strategic, operational, and readiness challenges our Navy and Marine Corps leaders confront in maintaining our naval maritime presence around the globe.

Bilden is deeply committed to military service members and their families, coming from a military family with four consecutive generations of seven Bilden Navy and Army officers, including his two sons who presently serve in the US Navy. He greatly respects the sacrifices that Navy and Marine Corps families make to serve their country.

Mr. Bilden served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Military Intelligence officer from 1986-1996. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served through the rank of Captain at Strategic Military Intelligence Detachments supporting the Defense Intelligence Agency. He resigned his commission in 1996 upon relocating to Hong Kong.

“As Secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden will apply his terrific judgement and top-notch management skills to the task of rebuilding our unparalleled Navy,” said President Trump. “Our number of ships is at the lowest point that it has been in decades. Philip Bilden is the right choice to help us expand and modernize our fleet, including surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and ensure America’s naval supremacy for decades to come. I am proud of the men and women of our armed forces. The people who serve in our military are our American heroes, and we honor their service every day.”

“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve as Secretary of the Navy,” said Philip Bilden. “Maintaining the strength, readiness, and capabilities of our maritime force is critical to our national security. If confirmed, I will ensure that our Sailors and Marines have the resources they need to defend our interests around the globe and support our allies with commitment and capability.”

Mr. Bilden has three decades of international management, leadership, and investment experience building an investment management business across global markets with diverse international partners. After 25 years, Mr. Bilden recently retired as a co-founding member and Senior Advisor of HarbourVest Partners, LLC, a leading global private equity investment management firm with institutional assets under management currently in excess of $42 billion. He became a founding member of the firm following the management buyout of HarbourVest’s predecessor company in 1997. Mr. Bilden joined the firm in Boston in 1991 and relocated to Hong Kong in 1996 to establish the firm’s Asian presence as a pioneering investor in the region. Throughout his 25 year tenure at HarbourVest Partners, Mr. Bilden served in senior leadership roles in the firm’s global management, including the firm’s four person Executive Committee responsible for governance.

Mr. Bilden serves on numerous philanthropic boards of non-profit organizations supporting military veterans, national and regional security, and cybersecurity missions. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; the Asia Pacific Advisory Board and Dean’s Board of Advisors of Harvard Business School; the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Academy Foundation; and the Board of Trustees of the Naval War College Foundation, where he serves as the inaugural Chairman of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies.

Mr. Bilden graduated as Distinguished Military Graduate, U.S. Army ROTC, from Georgetown University, earning the President’s Cup as the top graduate in the corps. He received a B.S. (magna cum laude) in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1986, with a concentration in International Politics and Soviet bloc studies. Mr. Bilden earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1991.

  • Sons of Liberty


  • The Plague

    Hardly a comforting appointment…

    • medic5392

      Why? What is your argument against him? In fairness, I don’t know enough about him to say he’s good or bad. I thought Forbes was a shoe in and didn’t see this guy on the radar. So what is your reasoning that he’s a bad pick?

      • Bill

        I don’t get the instant negativity, unless it’s coming from NeverTrumpers.

        • The Plague

          Every comment I ever made on the net during these elections was against Hitlary and for Trump. But I don’t like some of his appointments and the service secretaries all fall into that category. The Army and the AF have fared somewhat better in this regard, but I don’t like those either. I just don’t see anything in their background that would motivate them to represent those core strengths that each service had originally been all about, before they were transformed into full-time shadow-punching GWOT-agents.

      • The Plague

        1.) He’s a beancounter => I fear cost-cutting exercises.
        2.) I don’t see anything that would signify him as a naval thinker. Just because Stavridis supports him, he ain’t become a saint to me.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          If the SecNav can stick to dealing with procurement reform and avoid participation in strategy, we’ll all be better off.

  • Bill

    An upgrade on Mabus for sure. I hope he understands ship naming traditions.

    • Steve

      Not a high bar on upgrading from Mabus.

  • RDF

    Let this be a lesson to us. This is what happens when you lose to Army.

  • Ed L

    I think the ship naming might go back to a more traditional system. Given the conservative nature of the Current Administration. Plus he is a business man, but reading his bio, He is not exactly strangers to the Admirals.

  • Owen

    People need to look past the damn ship names. Bilden seems like a single ocean secretary. That’s not what the Navy needs. The Navy needs competent civilian leadership who can work effectively with the CNO and admiralty, Bilden at least does have those connections. My real hope for the incoming SECNAV is that he can pursue an intelligent acquisition policy that places the current and immediate needs of the country and service above testing out the admiralty’s dream projects from two decades ago. Hopefully Bilden can competently preform in the position, but all things considered Forbes would have been the better choic.

    • Bill

      Nobody thinks it’s just about naming. With Mabus it was only a symptom of something much worse.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        The “Great Green Fleet” boondoggle is another, putting political ideology over needs of the service.

    • muzzleloader

      I might’ve missed something, but what happened with Forbes?