President Biden on Thursday announced his intent to nominate Cara Abercrombie as assistant secretary of defense for acquisition – a Pentagon post that has lacked a permanent leader since 2021.

If confirmed, Abercrombie would take over the office from Tanya Skeen, who has served in the position for the last 13 months in an acting capacity. The job oversees various Defense Department (DoD) acquisition program management responsibilities – including the development of space, intelligence, and business systems.

Abercrombie currently serves as deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council. Prior to this, Abercrombie served as the acting deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the first president of the Defense Security Cooperation University.

A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Abercrombie has held numerous positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the past two decades. She is also a 2022 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive.

Abercrombie’s nomination comes two days after Radha Iyengar Plumb was confirmed as deputy assistant secretary of defense for acquisition in a 68-30 Senate vote. John Tenaglia was filling that role on an acting basis.

No timetable was set for when Abercrombie may appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee for her hearing, but if confirmed, her role will require her to advise the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Defense.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.