Biden Picks Christine Wormuth as First Female Army Secretary

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President Joe Biden plans to nominate Christine Wormuth as secretary of the Army, the White House announced Monday, a move that would make her the first woman to oversee the largest and oldest of the U.S. military services.

Wormuth, who led Biden’s transition team for the Pentagon, is currently director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corp., a federally funded think tank that does extensive work for the Defense Department.

Biden Picks Christine Wormuth as First Female Army Secretary

Wormuth, who would need to be confirmed by the Senate, was undersecretary of defense for policy at the Pentagon from 2014 to 2016 and before that was deputy under secretary for strategy, plans and forces. In those roles she shaped the Obama administration’s version of the Quadrennial Defense Review, a broad policy document.

The Army she would lead faces significant challenges -- including adapting to a strategy built around China as the primary global threat to the U.S., adopting new technology such as artificial intelligence and tackling social problems in the ranks such as sexual assaults, suicides and extremist ideology.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that Wormuth’s “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.”

As undersecretary for policy, Wormuth was a regular at President Barack Obama’s White House and focused on the campaign to counter Islamic State, the rebalance to the Indo-Pacific region and U.S. relations with countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In 2007, Wormuth served as the staff director for the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, also known as the “Jones Commission.” She traveled with the commission to Iraq, focusing on the readiness of Iraqi police forces.

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