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General Mattis Names Appointees

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By Debbie Gregory.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has added three new appointees to his team at the Pentagon.

Mattis has appointed Vayl Oxford to Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; Stephen Kitay to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy; and Sergio de la Peña to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Oxford, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology has five years under his belt as a national security executive policy advisor at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Department of Energy-managed research laboratory.

Kitay was a staffer on the House Armed Services Committee. A retired Air Force officer, he served as the national security space expert on policies and programs, and the multibillion dollar space budget Kitay was also responsible for guiding the oversight of Department of Defense intelligence programs.

According to the Pentagon, De la Peña has been the CEO of de la Peña Consulting for five years. The retired Army colonel worked to develop business strategies to strengthen relationships between U.S. businesses and Latin American governments. He previously worked with defense contractor L3.

Mattis also filled three Senior Executive Service positions. He named Elbridge Colby to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy and Force Development. He tapped Pete Giambastiani as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. And Thomas Goffus was named deputy assistant secretary for Europe and NATO.

Colby was a Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a national security think tank.

A Naval Academy alumnus, Giambastiani served as a special assistant to the deputy undersecretary of the Navy and the secretary of the Navy under the George W. Bush administration. Most recently, he worked as Chief of Staff to Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Florida.

Goffus, a retired Air Force colonel, most recently served as a staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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