Kenneth Braithwaite

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Ken Braithwaite
Kenneth J. Braithwaite official portrait.jpg
United States Secretary of the Navy
Assuming office
PresidentDonald Trump
SucceedingThomas Modly (acting)
United States Ambassador to Norway
Assumed office
February 8, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded bySamuel D. Heins
Personal details
Kenneth John Braithwaite II

1960 (age 59–60)
Political partyRepublican
EducationUnited States Naval Academy (BS)
University of Pennsylvania (MPA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1984–1993 (active)
1993–2011 (reserve)
RankRear Admiral

Kenneth John Braithwaite II[1] has served as the United States Ambassador to Norway since February 8, 2018. President Donald Trump said on November 24, 2019, that he would nominate Braithwaite to serve as the United States Secretary of the Navy.[2] A former business executive and town councilman, he is a retired rear admiral of the United States Navy Reserve.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Braithwaite is from Livonia, Michigan.[4] He attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated with a bachelor's degree in naval engineering and political science in 1984.[5][6] He later earned a master's degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government,[7] in 1995.[8]

Braithwaite obtained additional graduate qualifications from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as the Air Command and Staff College at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.[9]

From 1993 to 1996, Braithwaite served as Town Councilman for the borough of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.[10]

Military career[edit]

Braithwaite was commissioned as a U.S. Navy ensign in 1984.[1] He became a naval aviator in April 1986 and was assigned to fly anti-submarine patrol missions.[8] In April 1988 he was reassigned to public affairs duties.[8]

During his active military career, he also served as a special assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs, as director of public affairs aboard the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66), and as chief of public affairs to the commander of Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.[11]

Braithwaite also served as Commanding Officer of the Navy Combat Camera Command during the Iraq invasion in 2003. He served as Commander, Joint Public Affairs Support Element-Reserve (JPASE-R), part of Joint Enabling Capabilities Command from October of 2004 to October 2007. In this role he commanded a 50-person joint public affairs expeditionary unit that was forward deployed to support Combatant Commanders in time of conflict. During inactive times he also held various positions, including Manager of Operations at Atlantic Richfield Chemical Inc. and executive director and senior advisor to Senator Arlen Specter.[4][9]

Braithwaite's active duty service ended in 1993, but he immediately joined the U.S. Navy Reserve.[8] He continued to perform various public affairs assignments until his retirement in 2011.[5][12]

He was nominated for the rank of Rear Admiral in early 2007, while serving as director of the Joint Public Affairs Support Element at Norfolk.[13] His nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate in June 2007.[14]

After his military career, Braithwaite has been a communications director at the Embassy of the United States in Islamabad and later a vice president of a consultancy company[specify] that works to improve the performance and strategies of healthcare.[15]

Government career[edit]

Braithwaite was nominated by President Donald Trump[16] to serve as the United States Ambassador to Norway. His nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 21, 2017 by voice vote.[16]

On November 24, 2019, following the firing of Richard V. Spencer, Trump said he would nominate Braithwaite to become the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, calling him a "man of great achievement and success."[2]


Kenneth Braithwaite and his wife Melissa have one daughter, Grace, and one son, Harrison.[12] Braithwaite is a sailor and amateur historian.[17]


  1. ^ a b "PN657 — Civilian". U.S. Congress. 9 February 1984. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  2. ^ a b "Donald J. Trump, Verified account, @realDonaldTrump". Twitter. 24 November 2019. ...Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite will be nominated by me to be the new Secretary of the Navy.
  3. ^ Carey, Kathleen E. (24 October 2017). "Ex-Ridley Park pol picked as ambassador to Norway". The Delaware County Daily Times. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Ambassador to Norway: Who Is Kenneth Braithwaite?". AllGov. November 10, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Ken Braithwaite Joins VHA Inc. as Senior Vice President and Executive Officer for VHA's East Coast and Pennsylvania Offices". Marketwired via Yahoo! News. 1 November 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "Notable Graduates Kenneth J. Braithwaite". U.S. Naval Academy. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "Giving by individuals to projects and programs" (PDF). Penn Arts and Sciences. June 30, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Biography". U.S. Navy. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  9. ^ a b "Kenneth J. Braithwaite". U. S. Department of State. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Braithwaite Kenneth J. – Kingdom of Norway – October 2017" (Certificate of Competency). U.S. State Department. 15 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Rear Admiral Kenneth J. Braithwaite, II Retired". U. S. Department of the Navy. July 16, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Meehan, Patrick (23 June 2011). "Honoring Rear Admiral Kenneth J. Braithwaite, II". U.S. Congress. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  13. ^ "SECDEF Announces Flag Officer Assignments". U. S. Department of the Navy. February 27, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  14. ^ "PN296 — Capt. Kenneth J. Braithwaite — Navy". U.S. Congress. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  15. ^ Dette er mannen Trump vil ha som ambassadør til Norge TV2 Norway (in Norwegian) Retrieved 2018-01-11
  16. ^ a b "PN1173 — Kenneth J. Braithwaite — Department of State". U.S. Congress. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  17. ^ "Ambassador Kenneth J. Braithwaite". U.S. Embassy in Norway. Retrieved February 1, 2019.

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