WASHINGTON — Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey, the head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency since September 2013, will be leaving the role come July, Defense News has learned.
Following an inquiry, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cdr. Patrick Evans confirmed that Rixey will retire this summer but said his replacement has yet to be announced.
"At the moment, there has not been a flag/general officer announcement assigning someone to the position," Evans said.
The DSCA head represents the Pentagon's point person on foreign military sales issues. There is an expectation that the Trump administration will be more lenient in judging FMS cases than the Obama administration, a welcome change for American industry.
During his tenure, Rixey made attempts to modernize the foreign weapon sales process, particularly with regard to training the workforce and trying to streamline decision making. At the same time, he was quick to push back against the idea that the FMS system needs a total overhaul, a common complaint from industry and foreign partners who say the system moves too slowly.
"There is no 'one size fits all' approach to FMS, and each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis," Rixey co-wrote with Ambassador Tina Kaidanow in a Defense News editorial published in April. "The appearance that a particular sale is being 'held up' is not a reflection of a flawed system; rather, it is the result of the deliberate discussion of complex technology or foreign policy issues."
Before heading to DSCA, Rixey served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for International Programs and Director for the Navy International Programs Office. A 1983 graduate of the Naval Academy, Rixey holds a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and Engineer's Degree in Aeronautics and had a lengthy career working with the P-3 and P-8 anti-submarine aircraft.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.