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Trump Nominates Mark Esper as Permanent Defense Secretary

Jeff Brody
Mark Esper

President Donald Trump nominated Mark Esper, secretary of the U.S. Army and a 2019 Wash100 winner, to serve as the next secretary of the Department of Defense, The New York Times reported Friday.

Esper assumed the role of acting defense secretary Sunday after Patrick Shanahan resigned and withdrew his name from consideration for the top DoD post to focus on his family.

Esper is former vice president for government relations at Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) and former chief operating officer of the Aerospace Industries Association.

Defense News reported that the president announced his plans to nominate David Norquist, comptroller at DoD and a 2019 Wash100 recipient, to serve as permanent deputy defense secretary, and Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy to succeed Esper as head of the military branch.

Norquist began serving as deputy DoD secretary in January on an interim basis. He is a nearly three-decade federal financial management professional who previously served as a partner at accounting firm Kearney and Co., and chief financial officer at the Department of Homeland Security.

McCarthy was confirmed by the Senate in 2017 for the undersecretary role. He previously served as VP the F-35 sustainment program at Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), as a staff member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a member of the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment during the Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

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