Ray Mabus, former Mississippi governor and U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was sworn in today as the 75th Secretary of the Navy. Leading the Navy and Marine Corps, Mabus will be responsible for an annual budget in excess of $150 billion and almost 900,000 people.
The secretary of the Navy is responsible for conducting all the affairs of the department of the Navy, including recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training and mobilizing. Additionally, he oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment and facilities and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the president and the secretary of defense.
Prior to joining the administration of President Barack Obama, Mabus served in a variety of top posts in government and the private sector. In 1988, Mabus was elected governor of Mississippi where he stressed education and job creation. In 1994, he was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where during his tenure, the Kingdom officially abandoned the boycott of U.S. businesses that trade with Israel. Mabus also was chairman and chief executive officer of Foamex, a large manufacturing company, and also served as a Navy surface warfare officer aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock.
Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Miss., and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.