Frank Kendall, who served as acquisition chief at the Department of Defense from May 2012 to January 2017, has been confirmed by the Senate to assume the U.S. Air Force’s top civilian position.
He will be the 26th secretary of the Air Force and will replace John Roth, who has held the SecAF role on an acting basis over the past six months, the military branch said Monday.
USAF expects Kendall to put force modernization and budgeting efforts on his agenda for the Department of the Air Force, which includes the Space Force, and communicate his approach to help the department position itself to confront strategic competition with countries such as Russia and China.
“I believe the range and severity of the threats that we face and will face, the rapid pace of technological innovation, and the need to rapidly harness that technology in new operational concepts demand a sense of urgency and a like focus on getting our choices right,” Kendall, a three-time Wash100 Award recipient, said during his May 25 confirmation hearing.
His DOD career includes one decade of active-duty service in the U.S. Army and civilian service as defense undersecretary for acquisition, logistics and technology, director of tactical warfare programs and assistant deputy undersecretary for strategic defense systems.
Kendall also worked in the private sector as vice president of engineering at Raytheon, a managing partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors and a member of the board of directors at Leidos (NYSE: LDOS).
He won Senate approval four days after Gina Ortiz received confirmation for the AF undersecretary role.