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Trump to nominate Patrick Shanahan as defense secretary: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan along with top military and civilian leadership at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Angelita M. Lawrence/Department of Defense)
May 09, 2019

President Trump will be nominating Patrick Shanahan as the official Secretary of Defense.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Thursday afternoon that the President intended to nominate Shanahan to the position, which he has served in an acting capacity since January.

“Based upon his outstanding service to the Country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense,” Sanders said in a statement.

“Acting Secretary Shanahan has served in high-profile positions, including the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Vice President of Supply Chain and Operations at Boeing. He holds a Master of Science degree in engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Massachusetts Institution of Technology. Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do an excellent job,” the statement concluded.

Shanahan has served as acting Secretary of Defense since Jan. 1, 2019, following the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

“I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!” Trump tweeted on Dec. 23, just three days after Mattis’ resignation announcement.

Prior to his appointment to Deputy Defense Secretary in Mar. 2017, Shanahan spent over three decades in various leadership and executive roles at Boeing, according to his DoD biography. He oversaw various aviation programs, including U.S. Army programs involving the Osprey, Chinook, and Apache helicopters.

The DOD’s Inspector General’s office concluded a months-long investigation of Shanahan’s conduct to determine if he had made officials decisions to benefit his former employer, Boeing. The investigation found that he had not taken such actions.