Richard V. Spencer was sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) on August 3.
A Connecticut native, Spencer graduated from Rollins College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Upon graduation he joined the United States Marine Corps and served as an H-46 pilot until 1981 before departing active duty to enter the private finance sector.
Spencer worked on Wall Street for 16 years with responsibilities centered on investment banking services and a particular focus on strategic advisory services and capital market underwriting. After three years as president of Crossroads Investment Management LLC, a leading venture capital and private equity fund-of-funds investment firm, Spencer joined Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE), the leading electronic commodity futures exchange, as chief financial officer. ICE introduced transparency and risk management to the global derivatives markets. As vice chairman he was responsible for the transition of the company from private to public, including initial board of directors recruitment, the initial public offering and the subsequent three secondary offerings, financial reporting, strategy development and implementation and human resources management.
From 2007 to 2017, Spencer was the managing director of Fall Creek Management, LLC.
Spencer served on the Board of Directors of Global Atlantic Financial Group, ENGAGEcx LLC, 86Borders LLC and StarPound Technologies. His charitable activities include board service on the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Teton County Search & Rescue Foundation, Veterans Campaign/Center for Second Service, and Honoring Our Vets. Spencer served on the Defense Business Board and the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel.
Spencer delivered a message to the Navy and Marine Corps, saying: "Sailors, Marines and Civilian Teammates:
“It is with great excitement and humility that I take on the role of your 76th Secretary of the Navy. The excitement is born from the challenges and opportunities that we face now and in the near future.
“Due to your consistent ability to successfully deliver on all demands put before you, there is a commensurate level of expectation for more of the same going forward. Therein lies the challenge we face and prudency says we should expect that challenge to grow as the threats around the world continue to increase.
“Within every challenge lies opportunity and I urge everyone to adopt that point of view. Every member involved in the Navy Marine Corps team has the opportunity to make a contribution towards a more effective, versatile, resilient and lethal organization.
“You, as a member of this team, will have access to a wide range of resources. Those resources must be applied in the most impactful manner possible in order to enhance our ability to deliver when called to fight. I look to each of you to seize the opportunity and contribute to enhancing the effort.
“I am humbled to be in the position to lead an enterprise that is manned with such a stunning amount of proven talent. Our Nation’s all volunteer force, and supporting teammates, are second to none. That is because of you.
“I believe that the most valuable asset within an organization is the high performing human component. We will work together to ensure we have the best, sustainable environment in order to continue our history of delivering when requested.
“Make no mistake, we are facing a threat level that has not been witnessed for quite some time and urgency is the manner in which we must all act as the complexity of threats increase in size and scope. We must all be focused on the pointed end of the spear.
“I eagerly look forward to working with you as we step out to face the challenges set before us and embrace the opportunities that lie within those challenges."
The ceremony was conducted in the Pentagon by William O'Donnell, Department of the Navy administrative assistant.