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Work Officially Nominated for Pentagon's No. 2 Job

Feb. 7, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By PAUL McLEARY   |   Comments
Robert Work served as Navy undersecretary from 2009 to 2013. (Navy)
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WASHINGTON — The White House has officially nominated Robert Work to be the next deputy secretary of defense.

The move was widely expected, with sources whispering for weeks that Work was going to be the nominee to replace the recently departed Ash Carter, and to take over from the interim office holder, Christine Fox, who President Barack Obama appointed in December.

Although Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made the official announcement during a Friday afternoon press conference, any question that Work was the nominee was thrown out the window earlier in the day.

Earlier that morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee sent out an email naming February 13 as the date when the committee would consider Work’s nomination, along with Michael J. McCord’s nomination to be under secretary of defense (comptroller).

Work stepped down as Navy undersecretary in 2013 — a position he held since 2009 — and was quickly named the CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank.

In late January, Work and colleague Shawn Brimley published a widely-discussed report for CNAS called 20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age.

In a reflection of the revolving door between think tanks and the government in Washington, CNAS announced Friday afternoon that if Work is confirmed, Michèle Flournoy will serve as “Interim CEO” until the outfit finds a successor.

Flournoy currently serves as the CNAS Board Co-Chair and is a co-founder of the organization along with Kurt Campbell. She went from founding CNAS in 2007 to the Pentagon in 2009 to serve as the under secretary of defense for policy. She stepped down in 2012.

“I look forward to working with the strong leadership team at CNAS — including President Richard Fontaine, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies Shawn Brimley and my fellow board members,” Flournoy said in a statement.

Kurt Campbell said that he is heading up the board’s efforts to find a new chief executive officer.

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