Lynn to Step Down as Deputy Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 — Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III will step down lat­er this year to return to pri­vate life, Pen­ta­gon offi­cials announced today.
Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta asked Lynn to remain in office until a suc­ces­sor is nom­i­nat­ed and con­firmed, offi­cials said, and that’s expect­ed to hap­pen by autumn.

“Bill Lynn has pro­vid­ed out­stand­ing advice and coun­sel to this depart­ment and to the nation over the course of his long career,” Panet­ta said in a Pen­ta­gon news release. “I will rely on his expe­ri­ence and exper­tise dur­ing this tran­si­tion peri­od. His ser­vice will be great­ly missed.”

Lynn has been the face of the Pentagon’s cyber defense pol­i­cy. He has worked with­in the depart­ment to strength­en DOD’s defense pos­ture and put in place poli­cies, pro­ce­dures and tech­niques to safe­guard data on the infor­ma­tion super­high­way. He worked close­ly with mil­i­tary offi­cials to estab­lish the U.S. Cyber Com­mand – a four-star head­quar­ters based at Fort Meade, Md.

Lynn also has worked with close allies such as Britain, Aus­tralia and Cana­da to ensure all nations work togeth­er to pro­tect mil­i­tary infor­ma­tion. He stressed the impor­tance of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty to NATO, and the alliance adapt­ed a roadmap to pro­tect vital secrets dur­ing its sum­mit last year.

Lynn also con­cen­trat­ed on DOD’s space and oper­a­tional ener­gy poli­cies and the department’s Qua­dren­ni­al Defense Review. In addi­tion, he was instru­men­tal in the process that led to award of the Air Force aer­i­al tanker con­tract.

“It has been a rare priv­i­lege to serve in the Depart­ment of Defense dur­ing such a chal­leng­ing time,” the deputy sec­re­tary said. “And it has been an hon­or to serve along­side an out­stand­ing group of civil­ian and mil­i­tary mem­bers who every day demon­strate the val­ue to this nation of their unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment and ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice.”

Lynn’s impend­ing depar­ture is the lat­est in a series of changes in Pen­ta­gon lead­er­ship. Panet­ta took over from retired Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates last week. Marine Corps Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright is sched­uled to step down as vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff next month, and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen will com­plete his four-year term as chair­man of the Joint Chiefs at the end of Sep­tem­ber.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma must nom­i­nate Lynn’s suc­ces­sor. The Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee would hold a con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing, and the full Sen­ate would vote on con­fir­ma­tion.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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