Robert Hastings was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on 10 March, 2008. He serves as staff advisor and assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense for public information, internal information, and community relations as well as information training and audiovisual matters in support of DoD activities, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 3,800 military and civilian personnel.
Mr. Hastings is a former U.S. Army officer with more than 20 years experience working at senior levels within the Army and in assignments for the White House and the State Department. As a Master Army Aviator and Public Affairs Officer, His assignments included command of an Apache-equipped Air Cavalry Troop and a Blackhawk-equipped Air Assault Company, as well as Public Affairs duties in Germany, Eastern Europe, Iraq, and Bosnia. He is a distinguished graduate and former instructor with the Defense Information School Public Affairs Officer Course.
Following retirement from the Army in 1999, Mr. Hastings was appointed and served as Chief of Staff and Vice President, Communications for BAE Systems, Inc. in 2001, a $15 billion defense and aerospace company employing more than 50,000 employees in the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Israel and South Africa. He previously served as Director, Corporate Communications for BAE Systems North America and Director, Communications for Marconi North America. His responsibilities included strategic planning, public affairs, media relations, marketing communications, employee communications, community affairs and the company’s philanthropic activities.
Mr. Hastings is active in numerous community and professional associations, and has served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations. He is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), an accredited member (APR) of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communications and as the professional advisor for the Public Relations Student Society at Hood College. He is a winner of PRSA’s Silver Anvil Award of Excellence and IABC’s Gold Quill Award for Excellence in Communications Management.
A native of Ocean City, Maryland, Mr. Hastings earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government Studies and History from the University of Maryland in Heidelberg, Germany, and has completed executive studies at the Wharton School of Business and the University of Michigan. He is also a graduate of BAE Systems’ Strategic Leaders Program, and served on the company’s Communications, Government Relations and Human Resources Councils.
Mr. Hastings and his wife Leigh reside in suburban Maryland and have two college-age children.