White House Names Pick for Pentagon No. 2

Patrick M. Shanahan (Photo: Boeing)
Patrick M. Shanahan (Photo: Boeing)

President Donald Trump named a Boeing Co. executive Thursday to replace Deputy Secretary Bob Work, a holdover from the Obama administration, as the No. 2 civilian at the Pentagon after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The White House, on Mattis' recommendation, announced that fixed-wing and rotorcraft specialist Patrick Shanahan, now the senior vice president for supply chain and operations at Boeing, would be nominated as the successor to Work, a retired Marine artillery colonel who has taken on some of the toughest management assignments at the Defense Department on budgets, modernization and health care.

Work, who served under former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, agreed to stay on at Mattis' request as the new Trump administration struggled to fill political appointments requiring Senate confirmation throughout government.

Mattis put Work in charge of budget workups that will likely keep him at the Pentagon through May. The overlap for Work put three Marines for the first time in the top three positions at the department -- Mattis, Work and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, the former Marine commandant.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Mattis was grateful that Work had agreed to stay on until his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

"His steady leadership is critical during this time of transition, and Secretary Mattis continues to have full confidence in him as he carries out crucial work in managing the Department," Davis said.

At Boeing, Shanahan previously was senior vice president of airplane programs and oversaw the management for the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs, the White House said.

Before that, Shanahan was vice president and general manager of Boeing's Missile Defense Systems unit and vice president and general manager for Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia, where he was responsible for all U.S. Army Aviation, including the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the CH-47 Chinook and the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.

Shanahan's was one of six nominations -- five of them from Virginia -- to fill posts at the Pentagon sent over to the Senate, all with Mattis' recommendations, according to the Pentagon.

David Joel Trachtenberg of Virginia will was named to serve as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, following the withdrawal of the nomination to that post of former Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson. Several Republican senators had signaled their opposition to Patterson's nomination.

Trachtenberg is the president and CEO of Shortwaver Consulting LLC, a national security consultancy, and formerly was a staffer on the House Armed Services Committee. He previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security policy where he was responsible for issues relating to NATO, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, technology security, counter-proliferation, missile defense, nuclear forces, and arms control, the White House said.

Kenneth P. Rapuano of Virginia was nominated to serve as assistant secretary of defense, homeland defense and global security. Rapuano has a long career in national security and homeland security affairs in the private, public and academic sectors, the White House said. He currently serves as senior vice president and director of the studies and analysis group at the ANSER Corp.

David L. Norquist of Virginia, a partner with the accounting firm of Kearney and Co., was named to serve as undersecretary of defense, comptroller. Norquist has 27 years of experience in federal financial management beginning as a federal employee in 1989 with the Department of the Army, the White House said.

Elaine McCusker of Virginia was named to serve as principal deputy undersecretary of defense, comptroller. McCusker currently is the director of resources and analysis at the headquarters of U.S Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Robert Daigle of Virginia, an Army veteran, was named to as director of cost assessment and program evaluation, known as CAPE. Daigle previously served in CAPE during the Bush administration as director of program resources and information systems management division.

The flurry of nominations for the Pentagon posts came amid reports of growing friction between Mattis and the White House over the slow pace of appointments to his staff.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

Show Full Article