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Here is the Pentagon’s new spokesperson

Charles Summers, Principal Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Nov., 16, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Darrell Hudson)
January 09, 2019

As of Jan. 1, Charles Summers, the former Maine Secretary of State, became the Acting Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.

His new role will entail “the formulation of strategies regarding the release of information to the public, news and media, as well as overseeing and coordinating the efforts of the office in order to ensure the staff is able to execute their portfolios,” according to the Department of Defense.

This followed the Dec. 31, 2018 resignation of spokeswoman Dana White, who was under investigation for reportedly mistreating employees, the West Central Tribune reported.

Following her resignation, White tweeted, “I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our service members and all the civilians who support them. It has been my honor and privilege. Stay safe and God bless.”

Summers has a polished resume that includes his service in state and federal government positions, both appointed and elected.

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He served two terms in the Maine Senate starting in 1990 and served as the Ranking Member on the Joint Standing Committees on Legal Affairs, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Taxation, the Defense Department said.

Summers also served as State Director to Sen. Olympia Snowe from 1995 to 2004.

Summers additionally served in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2005 to 2007 as New England Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

He was elected in January 2011 as Maine’s 48th Secretary of State. His term ended in January 2013.

Summers oversaw 450 employees and an annual budget of more than $130 million.

In 2016, he became Executive Director of Veterans Count in northern New England, directing service programs for veterans in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to Military.com.

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Summers also serves in the United States Navy Reserve as a Public Affairs Officer with the rank of Captain.

He was called to active duty after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and served on the staff of then-Secretary of the Navy Gordon England.

He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and served as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Summers served on active duty for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then Adm. Mike Mullen, from October 2009 to October 2010, where he completed an assignment as a member of Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan.

From February 2014 to July 2016, he yet again served on active duty as Director of Public Affairs for Vice Adm. Robin Braun, then Chief of the Navy Reserve.

His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), U.S. Army Combat Action Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal, among others.

Summers was born in Danville, Illinois, in 1959.

He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Black Hawk College-East.

He is married to his wife, Ruth and they have three children: Thomas, Chas, and Patricia.