Robert H. Conn

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For the former National Hockey League player, see Rob Conn.

Robert Henry Conn (born 1925) was United States Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Senior Data Processing Official) from 1981 to 1984 and Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) from 1984 to 1988.


Robert Henry Conn was born in Boonton, New Jersey on June 8, 1925, the son of Henry Hammond Conn and Violet Bertha Doremus. He enrolled in the United States Navy in 1943, attending the Navy Flight School from 1943 to 1946; he was designated as a United States Naval Aviator in 1946. Conn served in the Navy, including postings in seaplanes, land-based patrol bombers, carrier based fighter and attack squadrons, and as a flight instructor. From 1954 to 1956, Conn studied business administration at the University of Mississippi, receiving a B.A. in 1956.

Conn enrolled in the University of Rochester and received an M.S. in management in 1962. Conn spent 1963 at the Naval War College, and then enrolled in doctoral studies in management and economics at Indiana University.

In 1967, Conn became an Assistant Director in the Chief of Naval Operations Budget Office. From 1968 to 1969, he was Director of the Fleet Resources Office at Headquarters Naval Material Command. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his work at the Fleet Resources Office. From 1969 to 1972, he was Assistant Director for Budget and Reports in the Office of the Navy Comptroller. Conn retired from the United States Department of the Navy on January 1, 1972 with the rank of Captain.

Conn then joined Arthur Andersen as manager of the Federal Liaison Division. He worked at Arthur Andersen until 1981.

In 1981, President of the United States Ronald Reagan nominated Conn as Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Senior Data Processing Official), and Conn began his term of office in May. In February 1984, President Reagan formally nominated Conn as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management), and this was Conn's title from March 1984 until Conn left office on December 15, 1988. For his service, Conn was awarded both the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. Additionally, Secretary Conn was awarded the Legion of Merit in his distinguished career as an Officer and Aviator in the United States Navy.

Conn married Virginia "Ginny" Inness-Brown (daughter of New Yorkers Hugh Alwyn Inness-Brown, Sr., and Virginia Portia Royall Inness-Brown. Virginia Inness-Brown attended Smith College. They have five children: Portia Royall Conn (Giffin now Hirschman), Judith Conn (Goodnow), Robert Henry Conn, Jr., Patricia Inness Conn (now Royall), and Catherine Elizabeth Conn. Virginia Inness-Brown Conn died in October 2011. The Hon. Robert H. Conn resides in Southport, Maine with Meredith Pierce Mitchell whom he married on Feb 14, 2013.


Government offices
Preceded by
George A. Peapples
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller)
May 1981 – December 15, 1988
Succeeded by
James M. Seely (acting)
Robert C. McCormack