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Biden taps current, former defense officials to oversee acquisition, budget, intel at Pentagon

President Joe Biden delivers his first national address from the White House on March 11, 2021. (White House/Released)

The Pentagon moved a step closer to getting more of its leadership in place as the White House said President Joe Biden would nominate officials to oversee the budget, acquisition and intelligence.

All three officials have deep backgrounds in defense and national security.

Michael Brown, whom Biden intends to nominate as the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, currently leads the Defense Innovation Unit, the Silicon Valley-based arm of the Pentagon that aims to quickly get commercial technology to the battlefield. His expected nomination comes as military leaders look for ways to quickly field new weapons to compete with China.

Biden intends to nominate Mike McCord to be the Pentagon’s comptroller and chief financial officer. Defense News first reported McCord would be tapped as comptroller.

McCord held the job for the final two and a half years of the Obama administration. Before that he served five years as the Pentagon’s No. 2 budget official, then-Comptroller Bob Hale’s deputy.

McCord has held a number of advisory roles since leaving the Pentagon. He currently directs civil-military programs at the Stennis Center for Public Service, is an adjunct research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Last September, he was named to Aerospace Corporation’s board of trustees.

Biden also intends to nominate Ronald Moultrie, to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. Moultrie is a former National Security Agency director of operations, member of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and member of the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior intelligence service. He is currently president and founder of Oceanus Security Strategies.

The Biden administration has still not said who it would nominate for a number of high-level Pentagon posts including service secretaries and the undersecretary for research and engineering.

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