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Christopher Miller Named Acting Defense Secretary

President Donald Trump has named Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as acting secretary of the Department of Defense. 

Miller will immediately assume the role after the president fired Mark Esper, who was confirmed by the Senate in July 2019 as the 27th secretary of DoD.

Esper, a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, touted the department’s efforts to implement the National Defense Strategy, establish the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command, expand the authorities of Cyber Command and recapitalize the nuclear triad, among others, in his final message to DoD employees Monday.

Miller officially assumed duties as the seventh director of NCTC in August. 

Prior to joining NCTC, Miller served at DoD as deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism. He was special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism and transnational threats at the National Security Council. 

He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1983 as an infantryman and served within the Special Forces. He worked as a defense contractor after retirement from military service.

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