Eric Chewing, the chief of staff to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, has announced he is stepping down from his position at the end of January.
There have been many other senior officials who recently announced they are leaving the Pentagon over the last month, including the acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, the director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the principal deputy undersecretary for intelligence.
Chewing will be replaced by a former top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the current top Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, Jen Stewart.
Esper is looking forward to working with Stewart, saying:
“I have known Jen for years and I’m excited to bring her into the Department. Her deep expertise on national security issues will be a great addition to our team as we continue implementing the National Defense Strategy.”
Stewart has been the national security adviser to House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Speaker John Boehner. She also acted as a senior adviser to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford. She has said that she plans on focusing on cybersecurity and helping to make the Pentagon run more efficiently. Esper has said he thinks this is a smart move as the Pentagon starts to prepare against cyber threats from China and Russia.
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