Anthony J. Tata

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Brigadier General
Anthony J. Tata
Nickname(s) Tony
Allegiance American
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1981–2009
Rank Brigadier general

Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata, also known as Tony Tata and A.J. Tata (/ˈttə/), served as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation from 2013 to 2015 under Governor Pat McCrory. General Tata served in the United States Army for twenty-eight years before retiring in 2009.[1] He is also an American novelist whose subject matter focuses on military life. Tata is most known for the fictional Threat Series.


In 1981, Tata received a Bachelor of Science at the United States Military Academy.[2] He earned a Master of Arts in International Relations at the Catholic University of America, and a Master of Military Art and Science in Strategic Planning at the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies. General Tata served as a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[3]



He is a former brigadier general in the United States Army, having served for 28 years in the military before retiring in 2009. From 2006 to 2007, he was Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan.[3][4] General Tata served two tours of duty at Fort Bragg in the 82nd Airborne Division. He also was brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division and Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division.[3]

Among his many accomplishments, Tata was awarded the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Ranger School.[3]


In January 2013, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory appointed Tata as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.[3] He resigned on July 28, 2015.[5] As Secretary of Transportation, he was also a member of the North Carolina Cabinet.

Previously, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the District of Columbia Public Schools (2009–2010) and Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System (2010–2012).


100 percent of the proceeds from Tata's Threat series books have been donated to the USO Metro DC Hospital Services fund for Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As of 2010, $30,000 had been donated.[6][7]

His novel Foreign and Domestic was named as a finalist for the Barry Award in the Thriller category. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon in New Orleans on September 15, 2016.[8]



Tata's work has been compared to Tom Clancy.[2] Often his novels have been described as "fast-paced" and a "page-turner." It has been noted that General Tata's knowledge of the military adds to the credibility of his writing.[9] His first novel in the Jake Mahegan series, Foreign and Domestic, was shortlisted for the Barry Award Best Thriller category. Foreign and Domestic spent two weeks on the Barnes and Noble bestsellers list reaching #6 in its third week of publication. Three Minutes to Midnight and Besieged were also national bestsellers ranking in the top #30 on Barnes and Noble bestsellers list and Three Minutes to Midnight spent several weeks on the Hudson Booksellers best sellers list. Both Three Minutes to Midnight and Besieged received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, highlighting the uniqueness of protagonist Jake Mahegan and the creativity of Tata's plots.


Tata, who is of Italian ancestry, has two children.[3]


  1. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (8 January 2013). "He's not 'The General,' but he's the boss at DOT". The News & Observer. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Turque, Bill (15 February 2010). "Retire Army Officer's New Mission:D.C. Public Schools". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "NCDOT Leadership: Secretary of Transportation". Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Frank, John; T. Keung Hui (4 January 2013). "McCrory completes Cabinet, names Tata in another surprising pick". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata resigns". newsobserver. 
  6. ^ Price, Victoria (12 February 2010). "Author of "Rogue Threat" holds book signing". Fox News. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Bedard, Paul (24 December 2008). "The Army's Very Own Tom Clancy". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine- Barry Awards". 
  9. ^ Sawicki, Steven (October 26, 2009). "Rogue Threat by A.J. Tata". Gumshoe Review. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 

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