By Debbie Gregory.
Department of Defense is set to receive its highest ranking female ever. With the departure of Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, President Obama appointed Christine Fox to serve as Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense.
In her former position of Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the DoD, Fox was part of the Strategic Choices and Management Review. In that capacity, Fox helped find ways to reform military spending and determine how it would affect the department and its assets.
Earlier this year, Fox left the Pentagon to become a technical advisor at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Since September, Fox has served as an unpaid advisor to former Deputy Secretary Carter. Previous roles with the DOD have assisted Fox with her appointment as the DoD promotes personnel continuity.
Ms. Fox has been an outspoken critic of the way that political leaders handled their impasse over the national budget. “Pretending that the ongoing political stalemate that perpetuates that the sequester is not harmful is the most harmful thing we can do,” Fox wrote for a Defense News opinion piece in September.
In the past, Fox has also called for restricting the growing degree of compensation for DOD personnel, in order to achieve savings.
“Going where the ‘real money’ is invariably leads to compensation … The 2000s saw substantial military pay and benefit increases leading to a compensation package that cannot be sustained under today’s budget circumstances — at least without making truly damaging (and dangerous) cuts elsewhere … Significant savings are possible in the compensation category that could mitigate the sequesters’ damage — between $50 billion and $100 billion over the next decade if riskier and more controversial [budget reform] options are included,” she said in Defense News.
Due to her intricate knowledge of the department’s budget, programs and operations, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expects Fox to contribute from day one. Hagel said that Fox will serve as Acting Deputy Secretary “pending the nomination and confirmation of a permanent successor to Deputy Secretary Carter.” Fox assumed her new position on December 5th.