Candace M. E. Bird, Ph.D

Associate Director, Resources & Oversight Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Military Community & Family Policy

In 2016, Dr. Candace M. Edmonds-Bird assumed the duties of Associate Director, Resources & Oversight for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness - Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) at the Pentagon. As Associate Director, Dr. Bird is a Team Lead dual-hatted as the Human Resources Officer and Training Coordinator providing oversight of the Personnel Operations, Professional Development and Personnel Security functions within MC&FP. Prior to joining MC&FP, Dr. Bird served as Chief of Child & Youth Programs assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Air Force from 2012 to 2016. In this role, her office provided policy, planning, and resource management of Air Force Child Development Centers, Family Child Care Programs, School Age Care Programs and Youth Programs. These programs supported Active, Guard and Reserve families serving over 250,000 military-connected children each year at 300+ locations stateside and overseas. Professionally, she has served in military family programs over the past 26 years as a caregiver, program coordinator, director and major command specialist on bases in Japan, North Dakota, Germany, Hawaii, Virginia and Maryland. During Public Service Recognition Week in 2016, Dr. Bird was recognized by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as a recipient of the prestigious annual “Spirit of Service” award acknowledging her commitment to and impact on military child and youth development programs. In 2018, Dr. Bird was inducted into the elite Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame in recognition of her service to military children and families and prior participation in Central Boys Club. In 2021, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service for her work supporting Military Community and Family Policy professionals.


Dr. Bird is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas and retired Air Force military spouse. She is a proud graduate of University of Oklahoma with a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. She also completed post-baccalaureate studies in Industrial Psychology at University of Texas, Austin, earned an M.S. in Administration (Human Resources) from Central Michigan University and received a B.S. in Psychology from Benjamin Banneker Honors College located at Prairie View A&M University. In addition, she holds both School Age and Youth Development Professional Certificates from Concordia University as well as a Senior Certified Professional credential from the Society of Human Resources Management. Dr. Bird is a Silver Star member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and is also a long-term Toastmaster having recently completed the requirements for Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters. As an active member of her church, Dr. Bird serves as Chair of the Pastor’s Education Committee and as an adult sponsor of the Youth Drama Ministry. In her spare time, she mentors those interested in higher professional pursuits and enjoys a wide variety of literary works and word games. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Maya Angelou:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”