U.S. Navy Undersecretary Robert Work will step down as the Navy Department’s No. 2 and will become CEO of the Center for New American Security think tank in Washington, the think tank announced Wednesday.
Work has served as the Navy undersecretary since 2009 and has overseen the day-to-day management of the Navy and Marine Corps under Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. He will start at CNAS on April 22, according to the think tank.
Work’s departure date from the Pentagon has not been finalized, according to a Navy official. The Navy is “pleased for Mr. Work and thankful for his service,” the official said.
During his time as undersecretary, Work was the department’s outspoken champion of the Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ship program.
Prior to becoming the Navy undersecretary, Work — a retired Marine Corps officer — worked as an analyst and later vice president for strategic studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank. He also served on President Barack Obama’s transition team.
“Bob brings to CNAS his vast substantive expertise on many of the most critical defense issues facing the nation, along with the leadership experience and management acumen gained in running the day-to-day operations of the Department of the Navy,” Flournoy said in a CNAS news release Wednesday.
The left-leaning think tank — which has close ties with the Obama administration — was founded in 2007 by Kurt Campbell and Michèle Flournoy.
Flournoy went on to become defense undersecretary for policy during Obama’s first term and is now a senior adviser at The Boston Consulting Group and a member of the CNAS board of directors.
Campbell is the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The prior CEO at CNAS, Nathaniel Fick, left the think tank in November and is now the CEO of Endgame Inc., a cybersecurity software company. Fick became CEO of CNAS in 2009 and remains on its board.