Top gun Christine Fox departing Pentagon

Maybe she’s lost that loving feeling, but Christine Fox, head of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s much-anticipated strategic review and the Pentagon’s top "costing" official, is leaving her post next month, the E-Ring has learned.  Fox, the Pentagon’s director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), has been a key player in the development of some ...

DoD photo by Cherie Cullen/Released
DoD photo by Cherie Cullen/Released
DoD photo by Cherie Cullen/Released

Maybe she's lost that loving feeling, but Christine Fox, head of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's much-anticipated strategic review and the Pentagon's top "costing" official, is leaving her post next month, the E-Ring has learned. 

Fox, the Pentagon's director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), has been a key player in the development of some of the Obama administration's top national security strategy documents at the Pentagon.

"She has been a critical advisor to three secretaries," a defense official said.

Maybe she’s lost that loving feeling, but Christine Fox, head of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s much-anticipated strategic review and the Pentagon’s top "costing" official, is leaving her post next month, the E-Ring has learned. 

Fox, the Pentagon’s director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), has been a key player in the development of some of the Obama administration’s top national security strategy documents at the Pentagon.

"She has been a critical advisor to three secretaries," a defense official said.

According to the official, she was instrumental in the development of the defense strategic guidance, which President Obama announced at the Pentagon in 2012, before taking the helm of Hagel’s Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) this year — affectionately called the "skimmer" or "scammer" inside the building.

"Ms. Fox will definitely finish her work on the SCMR before she departs. She’s a big part of that effort," a second defense official confirmed. The report is due at the end of May (the official said the team expects to be on time), and Fox will stay through the end of June.

By now, Fox is considered one of the "preeminent" and "essential" figures on the Office of the Secretary of Defense team, the first official said. As the Pentagon’s top costing official, she is responsible for determining independently what Lockheed’s F-35 actually will cost taxpayers, for example.

Previously, she was president of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), but no article about Christine Fox can go without mentioning that in the 1980s she was an analyst at the actual Top Gun school and the inspiration for the Kelly McGillis character, Charlie. ("You were in a 4g inverted dive with a MiG28?") 

 

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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