Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, the Senate confirmed three key Department of Defense (DoD) leadership nominations:  Frank Kendall to be Under Secretary of Defense (USD) for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L), Dr. James Miller to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Erin Conaton to be Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (P&R).

Kendall has been the acting AT&L chief since Ashton Carter became the Deputy Secretary of Defense in September 2011.  He was appointed as AT&L’s principal deputy in March 2010.   He previously served in DoD from 1982 to 1994 in a number of senior acquisition positions.  His private sector experience includes two years (2008-2010) as Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, and consultancies in technical and program management. 

Miller succeeds Michele Flournoy, who stepped down earlier this year.  He has served as principal deputy since April 2009.  Earlier, he served in DoD as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Requirements, Plans, and Counterproliferation Policy from 1997-2000.  He was a Vice President and then Senior Vice President at Hicks and Associates, Inc, an assistant professor at Duke University, and a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee from 1988 to 1992. 

Conaton replaces Clifford Stanley, who left the USD(P&R) post in October, 2011.  She had been the Under Secretary of the Air Force since 2010.  Prior to joining DoD, she was a staff member of the House Armed Services Committee for almost 10 years, serving as Staff Director from 2007 to 2010. 

The Senate also confirmed Joseph Jordan to be the next Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy.  Jordan has been serving as Senior Advisor to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Acting Director Jeffrey Zients since December 2011.  From 2009 to 2011, Jordan was the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development for the Small Business Administration (SBA).