Paul McHale was nominated by
President George Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Homeland Defense on January 9, 2003 and confirmed by the Senate on
February 4, 2003. In this position, he is responsible for the
supervision of all homeland defense activities of the Department of
Secretary McHale was born
and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lehigh
University where he majored in Government, earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree and graduated with Highest Honors in 1972.
Following his graduation,
Secretary McHale volunteered for duty with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1972, he spent two years on active
duty, including an overseas deployment as a rifle platoon leader in
Okinawa and the Philippines.
After release from active
duty, Mr. McHale entered Georgetown Law Center in 1974 and received his
Juris Doctor degree in 1977. For the next five years, he practiced law
in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Secretary McHale began his
civilian public service career when he was first elected to the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1982 where he served five
consecutive terms. He resigned in 1991 following Iraq’s invasion of
Kuwait, volunteering for active duty as an infantry officer with the
Marine Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In January of 1993,
Secretary McHale was elected to represent the 15th Congressional
district of Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives,
where he served for three terms. He was an active member of the House
Armed Services Committee, which has oversight responsibility for all
U.S. military operations and training.
In 1996, then Congressman
McHale co-founded the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
which advocate the interests of reservists and guardsmen world-wide.
His leadership earned him several distinct honors, including the Marine
Corps Reserve Officers Association 1997 Frank M. Tejeda Leadership
Award, the 1998 Reserve Officers Association Minuteman of the Year
Award, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service
Medal. He is currently a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve.
Secretary McHale has
frequently lectured on government, law and military policy on the
campuses of many colleges and universities, including the U.S. Army War
College, where he is an adjunct professor, and the U.S. Naval Academy,
where he served as a member of the Board of Visitors. Secretary McHale
is a former member of the Board of Advisors at the Naval War College,
Newport, Rhode Island.
On January 3, 1999, then
Congressman McHale retired from the U.S. House of Representatives and
became a shareholder in the Allentown law firm of Tallman, Hudders
& Sorrentino, P.C. He assumed his current position as the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense on February 7, 2003.
Secretary McHale is married
to Katherine Pecka McHale, Vice President of Millennium Cell Inc., a
lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and a former member of
the Pennsylvania General Assembly.