Mark Esper Named Acting Defense Secretary

Mark Esper

President Trump has selected Mark Esper, secretary of the U.S. Army and a 2019 Wash100 winner, to take over leadership of the Department of Defense on an acting basis.

Trump announced Esper’s appointment in a tweet posted Tuesday after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan resigned and withdrew from consideration for the top DoD job to focus on his family.

“I will coordinate an appropriate transition plan to ensure that the men and women in harm’s way receive all the support they need to continue protecting our great nation,” Shanahan, also a Wash100 recipient, said in a statement published Tuesday.

Esper assumed his current role in November 2017 after he was confirmed by the Senate four months after the president nominated him for the service’s top civilian post.

He spent seven years at Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) as vice president for government relations and served in the Aerospace Industries Association as chief operating officer and executive VP of defense and international affairs.

Esper also served as deputy assistant secretary for negotiations policy at DoD and as a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Armed Services Committees.

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