The Department of Defense (DoD) announced that Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter will retire on December 4, 2013.

In a statement on Carter’s pending retirement, Secretary Chuck Hagel praised him as an “extraordinarily loyal and effective Deputy Secretary, both for me and Secretary Panetta.” Referencing Carter’s long career in defense-related matters, Hagel said the outgoing Deputy Secretary “possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America’s defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for eleven Secretaries of Defense over the course of his storied career.”

As DoD’s Deputy Secretary, Carter was the department’s Chief Management Officer (CMO) and headed DoD’s cyber security strategy. He was appointed by the president to serve on the Government Accountability and Transparency Board. He also guided the preparation and implementation of DOD’s “Better Buying Power” program to achieve greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending.

Most recently, Carter led the department’s Strategic Choices and Management Review, which Hagel said “will put the Department in a far stronger position to manage through unprecedented budget uncertainty.”

Carter was confirmed in September 2011 as DoD’s 31st Deputy Secretary. Prior to becoming Deputy, he had been the Under Secretary for Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics since 2009.

Before becoming USD(AT&L) Carter was chair of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s international and Global Affairs department.  From 2006 until 2008, Carter was a member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s International Security Advisory Board.  Previously, Carter served in the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense for international Security Policy from 1993 until 1996. 

No announcement of Carter’s successor has been made by the White House.