President Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon second-in-command Ashton Carter ’76 as the new Secretary of Defense, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Carter will replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel, who announced his resignation last week. The nomination is expected in the next few days, once the White House completes its vetting process.
Carter received bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history from Yale, eventually serving as Deputy Defense Secretary under both Leon Panetta and Hagel. Carter’s experience at the Pentagon has prepared him perfectly for the position, Brookings Institute defense industry analyst Michael O’Hanlon told CNN on Tuesday. Carter’s expertise extends to managing large budgets, weapons acquisitions and innovative techniques in warfare, according to the CNN report.
Despite Carter’s lack of military experience, many had pegged him as a prime candidate for the position, particularly after former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy and United States Senator Jack Reed withdrew from consideration for the post.
Carter spent five years in the Pentagon’s number two and number three positions.