The Senate confirmed Ashton Carter by unanimous consent Friday to become the Defense Department’s next deputy secretary.
Carter, who has been the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, is expected to be sworn in shortly as the department’s second highest-ranked civilian official. He replaces William Lynn III, who has served as deputy since 2009.
Before coming to the Defense Department, Carter was chairman of the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, according to his biography. He served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during President Clinton’s first term.
Since joining the Pentagon in April 2009, Carter has pushed to find cost savings in the budget, especially in acquisitions, and to redirect money to support warfighters and speed up the fielding of equipment and other needs to deployed troops. In his current position, Carter has been responsible for overseeing the Pentagon’s installations and environment office.
After President Obama nominated Carter to the department’s second highest civilian job last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised his record of achievement: “I look forward to having Ash as my partner as we drive solutions to the strategic management challenges facing the Department of Defense.”