Names: Miller, Kendall, Conaton, move up at Pentagon
President Barack Obama announced his choices for several senior national security positions late Monday, all of which are promotions for officials already serving inside the administration. Jim Miller will be nominated to succeed Michele Flournoy as undersecretary of defense for policy. Miller has been Flournoy’s principal deputy since 2009, and before that worked for Flournoy ...
President Barack Obama announced his choices for several senior national security positions late Monday, all of which are promotions for officials already serving inside the administration.
Jim Miller will be nominated to succeed Michele Flournoy as undersecretary of defense for policy. Miller has been Flournoy’s principal deputy since 2009, and before that worked for Flournoy at the Center for a New American Security. Flournoy announced last month she is resigning to spend more time with her family. She had been in contention for the post of deputy secretary of defense, but that job was given to Ashton Carter, the previous undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology, and logistics (ATL).
Carter’s spot will be filled by his former principal deputy, Frank Kendall III, who has been the acting undersecretary for ATL since Carter moved into the deputy secretary’s office.
The other major Pentagon promotion today went to Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton, who will be nominated for the job of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Before joining the administration, Conaton most recently served as staff director for the House Armed Services Committee, led at the time by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO). Jessica Lynn Wright, who today was chosen to be assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, will serve under Conaton.
Obama tapped Chris Stevens as his nominee for ambassador to Libya today as well. Stevens was the U.S. representative to the National Transitional Council in Benghazi during the Libya war, serving as the top U.S. interlocutor with the group for most of that time. He will succeed Gene Cretz, who has ambassador in Tripoli from December 2008 but was physically kicked out of the country when WikiLeaks revealed he had written a diplomatic cable about Muammar al-Qaddafi‘s "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse.
Other State Department nominees named today include Scott DeLisi as ambassador to Uganda, Tracey Ann Jacobson as ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo, Pamela Ann White as ambassador to Haiti, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as director general of the Foreign Service.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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