White House Announces Nominees for National Security Positions at DOD, State Department

4 mins read

President Biden has announced plans to nominate seven individuals to serve in key national security roles at the departments of State and Defense. 

Brenda Sue Fulton, former chair of the West Point Board of Visitors, has been named a nominee for the role of assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs at the Department of Defense, the White House said Friday.

Fulton is a retired U.S. Army captain and has been serving as chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission since 2018.

Other DOD nominees are Christopher Maier for assistant secretary for special operations/low-intensity conflict, Deborah Rosenblum for assistant secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense and Shawn Skelly for assistant secretary for readiness.

Maier is principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict. He previously led the Defeat-ISIS Task Force and served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism during the Obama administration. Prior to joining the Pentagon, he held leadership roles at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Rosenblum is executive vice president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and president of the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship. She previously served as a VP at The Cohen Group and spent 12 years within the office of the secretary of defense, where she worked across the areas of homeland defense, nuclear forces and counterproliferation policy.

Skelly is VP and co-founder of Out in National Security and a member of the Atlantic Council’s LGBTI Advisory Council. She spent over two decades as a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and retired as a commander. She previously served as special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and held industry roles at CACI International and ITT Exelis.

Donald Lu, U.S. ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, has been named nominee for assistant secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian affairs at the State Department.

Lu previously served as U.S. ambassador to Albania, deputy chief of mission for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. He was deputy director for the office of Central Asian and South Caucasus Affairs and special assistant to the ambassador for the Newly Independent States.

Biden also nominated Sarah Margon for assistant secretary of the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor and Jessica Lewis for assistant secretary for the bureau of political-military affairs at the State Department.

Margon is U.S. foreign policy director at the Open Society Foundations. She previously served as Washington director for Human Rights Watch, associate director for sustainable security and peacebuilding and humanitarian and conflict policy adviser for Oxfam America.

Lewis is Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She served as senior national security adviser to Senate Majority/Minority Leader Harry Reid and manager of Net Corps America at the Organization of American States. 

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