In another historic first for his administration, President Biden has announced the nomination of foreign policy and national security expert Christine Wormuth as the next secretary of the Army. If confirmed, she would become the first-ever woman to serve in that role — one of the highest-ranking military officials in the Department of Defense.

Rachel Treisman of NPR has reported that “Wormuth has an extensive background in foreign policy and national security, and notably served as undersecretary of defense for policy — the third most senior civilian position in the Department of Defense — during the Obama administration.”

In a statement released after the announcement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called Wormuth a “true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation’s security.”

“As the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Christine advanced the department’s counter-ISIS campaign and the rebalance to Asia, and her deep expertise will be critical in addressing and deterring today’s global threats, including the pacing challenge from China and nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran and North Korea,” Austin said. “I have no doubt that, if confirmed, she will lead our soldiers and represent their families with honor and integrity as the Secretary of the Army.”

Wormuth is currently the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the nonprofit think tank, Rand Corp. She became a member of the Obama administration in 2009, joining the Cabinet as the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and civil support. She also previously served as the senior director for defense policy on the National Security Council and is a two-time recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

In addition to teaching as an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s graduate program in security studies, Treisman reported that Wormuth “also serves on the honorary advisory board of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security, a coalition established in 2019 to ‘promote concrete solutions to the national security gender gap.’” 

Numerous equality and diversity advocates welcomed Wormuth’s nomination, which is a major milestone in a field that is notoriously male-dominated.

Kathleen Hicks, who broke similar ground earlier this year when she became the first woman to serve as deputy secretary of defense, said Wormuth’s nomination “puts another big crack in the glass ceiling.”

“She is a capable, deeply experienced and committed leader who will support our soldiers, their families, and our nation,” Hicks tweeted.

Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas agreed, tweeting, “Our nation’s strength is in our diversity and [President Biden’s] nominations for key [Department of Defense] roles reflect that. Congratulations to Christine Wormuth – who will become the first female secretary of the Army.” 

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 





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