Obama Announces More Key Defense Appointments

WASHINGTON– President Barack Obama continued his efforts to fill key…

WASHINGTON– President Barack Obama continued his efforts to fill key Defense Department posts, announcing plans today to nominate two more people and to have three others continue to serve in their current posts.

Obama announced his intent to name Jim Miller as principal deputy undersecretary for policy, and retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson Jr. as assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs.

The White House also announced that Michael B. Donley will continue serving as Air Force secretary, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper will remain on board as undersecretary for intelligence, and Michael G. Vickers will remain as assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities.

“I am confident that these distinguished individuals have the commitment and expertise to help guide the Department of Defense at this critical time for our nation,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“Under the leadership of Secretary Gates, this group will help us maintain a strong and effective military to accomplish the fundamental goals of keeping America safe, advancing our interests abroad and restoring American leadership in the world,” the president said.

Miller works in national security policy, currently as senior vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security, and from 2000 to 2007 as senior vice president at Hicks and Associates, Inc. He was the Defense Department’s deputy assistant secretary for requirements, plans and counter-proliferation policy from 1997 to 2000.

A former assistant professor at Duke University and senior staff member for the House Armed Services Committee, Miller is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Combating WMD Panel of the Defense Department’s Threat Reduction Advisory Committee.

Gregson has been a foreign policy and military affairs consultant for WCG & Associates International since 2006. He previously served as chief operating officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Gregson retired from the Marine Corps in 2005 after 37 years of service. He was commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific and Marine Corps Forces Central Command, III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Japan, and 3rd Marine Division in Japan.

Before his assignments in Japan, Gregson was director of Asia-Pacific policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1998 to 2000. He has served in the Marine Corps since his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.

Donley has served as Air Force secretary since Oct. 17, 2008.

Clapper was confirmed by the Senate as undersecretary for intelligence April 11, 2007.

Vickers was confirmed as assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities July 23, 2007.

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