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DoD Assistant Secretary Robert Karem Joins Senator Mitch McConnell’s Office

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Robert Karem, assistant secretary for international security affairs at the Defense Department, is leaving his Senate-confirmed post to take on a new role as an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., DefenseNews reported Thursday.

He will advise McConnell and the Senate Republican Conference on matters of defense, foreign policy and national security.

Karem succeeds Thomas Hawkins, who left McConnell’s office in September to serve as senior vice president for government relations at vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh.

Prior to working as a Pentagon assistant secretary, Karem served as defense undersecretary for policy and held an advisory role on the presidential transition team to former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo.

He has also worked as principal foreign policy adviser to Jeb Bush.