DoD moves quickly to fill top acquisition role

After four months during which there\'s been no permanent face at the podium in the Pentagon press briefing room, DoD has finally announced a new press secret...

DoD has finally announced a new press secretary, after four months in which there has been no permanent face at the podium in the Pentagon press briefing room.

Peter Cook, a longtime D.C television journalist who currently works as the chief Washington correspondent for Bloomberg, will join the Pentagon in July, Defense officials announced Friday.

“Peter’s years of experience in the national media, coupled with his personal integrity and nonpartisan approach make him an ideal fit to represent this institution during a crucial period for our nation and our military,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “I want to thank Peter for taking on this challenging role and for his commitment to helping the American people better understand the efforts of this department and the people who work here, both in and out of uniform.

The department’s former top spokesman, Rear. Adm. John Kirby, departed the position in March after Carter decided the post should be filled by a civilian rather than a military officer. Kirby’s last on-camera press briefing was in late February.

Meanwhile, Col. Steve Warren, who has handled off-camera briefings several times a week and served as director of press operations, is departing at the end of June. He’ll be replaced by Capt. Jeff Davis, who until recently served as the chief of public affairs at U.S. Northern Command.

DoD moved a bit more swiftly to name a new top procurement official. Claire Grady officially took over as director of procurement and acquisition policy (DPAP) earlier this month. She replaces Dick Ginman, who retired at the end of March.

Grady comes to DoD from the Coast Guard, where she worked until the end of May as that service’s deputy assistant commandant for acquisition. Before that, she was the director for strategic initiatives for DHS’ chief procurement officer.

It’s Grady’s second time working for the Pentagon. She started her career as an intern at the Naval Sea Systems Command and eventually worked her way up to positions as a contracting officer and a program manager at NAVSEA.

Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn will become the new director of the Defense Information Systems Agency sometime this summer. Lynn has served as the agency’s vice director since 2013.

There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, partially because the current director, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, has not announced his retirement date so far, but Pentagon officials emphasize Lynn’s appointment isn’t exactly a secret either. The Senate has already approved his confirmation to the rank of lieutenant general, which he’ll assume once he becomes the new director.

Lynn is a career Army signal officer who’s also served as DISA’s chief of staff during a previous assignment. Prior to his current post at the agency, he was the Army’s Chief of Signal and the commander of what’s now the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia.


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This post is part of Jared Serbu’s Inside the DoD Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jared’s Notebook.

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