President Barack Obama nominated two candidates Friday for positions at the Defense Department: Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, as the principal deputy under secretary of defense for Policy, and Derek H. Chollet, as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs.
Hicks is currently the deputy under secretary of defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces. From 2006-09, she acted as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to that, she occupied various career civil service positions at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, including director for Homeland Defense Strategic Planning and Program Integration and director for Policy Planning.
Chollet is currently the senior director for Strategic Planning for the National Security Staff at the White House. He served from 2009-11 as principal deputy director in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State. Before that, Chollet served from 2007-09 as a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and was a nonresident fellow at the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution from 2006-09. During that same period, he was also an adjunct associate professor for the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.
From 2005-07, he was a fellow for the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Chollet also acted as chief speechwriter for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke and was a special adviser to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.
Early in his career, Chollet worked as a research assistant for Warren Christopher, Richard Holbrooke and James A. Baker III. He has a B.A. from Cornell University.