Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency: Who Is Joseph Rixey?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Vice Admiral Joseph W. Rixey took over as director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on September 6, 2013. He is responsible for the office that coordinates efforts by the Department of Defense and the State Department to provide financing and resources for the sale of arms, defense technologies, training and other services to foreign governments.


Rixey was born in Monterey, California, to a Navy family. His father, Charles W. Rixey, began his naval career in the enlisted ranks and eventually made rear admiral. Joseph Rixey graduated from Fort Hunt High School in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1978. He also began as an enlisted man, joining the Navy that year. He was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School and subsequently attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he played rugby. He graduated in 1983.


In 1986, Rixey was designated as a naval aviator. He spent much of his career in maritime patrol, including anti-submarine work. He also did a stint on the USS Constellation aircraft carrier as a catapult and arresting gear officer and assistant air officer.


Rixey earned an M.S. in aeronautical engineering in 1992 from the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey. Two of his subsequent assignments were training systems program manager for the P-3 Orion patrol aircraft and deputy program manager of the Navy’s Multimission Maritime Aircraft program to replace the P-3, which turned out to be the P-8 Poseidon, a derivative of the 737 airliner.


More recently, Rixey was deputy program executive officer of Air Anti-Submarine Warfare and Advanced Sensors Programs and vice commander of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. His last assignment before moving to DSCA was as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for International Programs and director of the Navy International Programs Office.


Rixey and his wife, Kathy, have four children. Their son Chris, a 2014 Naval Academy graduate, is an officer in the Marine Corps.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography


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