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As the Assistant Secretary, Sharon Burke is the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on operational energy security and reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. She is the inaugural Assistant Secretary for the office, which was created to strengthen the energy security of U.S. military operations. The mission of the office is to help the military services and combatant commands improve military capabilities, cut costs, and lower operational and strategic risk through better energy accounting, planning, management, and innovation. Operational energy, or the energy required to train, move, and sustain forces, weapons, and equipment for military operations, accounted for 75 percent of all energy used by the Department of Defense in 2009. Prior to her appointment at the Department of Defense, Assistant Secretary Burke was a Vice President and Senior Fellow at the non-partisan and independent Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a defense policy think tank. Assistant Secretary Burke graduated from Williams College and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where she focused on international energy policy and earned a Certificate of Middle Eastern Studies. [+]