KEY POINTS

  • Biden has nominated Christine Wormuth as the first female Army secretary
  • Wormuth served as the undersecretary of defense for policy during the Obama administration
  • Wormuth also served as director of an international security and defense policy center

President Joe Biden has picked Pentagon veteran Christine Wormuth to be the first woman to serve as secretary of the U.S. Army, the White House announced Monday. 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the first African American to hold the position, on Monday said he believes Wormuth could “lead our soldiers with honor and integrity” if she is confirmed by the Senate.

“Christine is a true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation's security,” Austin said in a statement. “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 determining today's global threats, including the pacing challenge from China and nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and North Korea.”

Wormuth previously was under secretary of defense for policy, working on the Department of Defense’s counter-ISIS campaign under former President Barack Obama. She also led Biden’s Pentagon agency review team through the transition process after Kathleen Hicks bowed out following a nomination to be the Pentagon’s No. 2 official.

Before serving as undersecretary of defense for policy, Wormuth directed defense policy and strategy for the National Security Council. 

Wormouth recently served as director for RAND, an international security and defense policy center based in Santa Monica, California. She currently is a senior fellow at RAND.

The Biden administration on Monday announced several other key appointments at the Defense Department. Gil Cisneros was picked to be under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Susanna Blume was chosen to be head of cost assessment and program evaluation office or CAPE. 

Cisneros previously represented California’s 39th district. During his tenure, he served on the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. 

Blume, a well-known expert on defense budget, previously served as deputy chief of staff for programs and plans under former deputy secretary Bob Work. She also served at the Center for a New American Security. 

“Susanna Blume is a dedicated public servant with extensive experience working with senior leaders in the Pentagon,” Jamie Morin, former CAPE director under the Obama administration, told Defense News

“She was one of the key players in helping turn the ‘Third Offset Strategy’ vision into programmatic reality, and clearly understands the unique decision support role of CAPE for ensuring we get the maximum capability out of every taxpayer dollar entrusted to the DoD,” Morin added. 

Biden also tapped Anne Milgram, a CNN legal analyst and former New Jersey attorney general and podcast host, to head the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.   

US President Joe Biden is holding bipartisan negotitions on his infrastructure push US President Joe Biden is holding bipartisan negotitions on his infrastructure push Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski