Lynn Approved as Deputy Secretary of Defense - Inside GNSS

Lynn Approved as Deputy Secretary of Defense

Raytheon Corporation executive William Lynn received an overwhelming vote of approval today (February 11, 2009) from the U.S. Senate to become the U.S. deputy secretary of defense. The 93 to 4 vote — with only four Republicans in opposition — did not reflect the considerable controversy surrounding Lynn’s nomination by President Obama.

Raytheon Corporation executive William Lynn received an overwhelming vote of approval today (February 11, 2009) from the U.S. Senate to become the U.S. deputy secretary of defense. The 93 to 4 vote — with only four Republicans in opposition — did not reflect the considerable controversy surrounding Lynn’s nomination by President Obama.

The president had sought an exemption from his own guidelines issued January 21 for executive branch officials. Those rules prohibit officials from working on issues they had promoted during the previous two years or at agencies they had lobbied. In his role as Raytheon senior vice-president for government operations, Lynn was a registered lobbyist until June 2008.

As the second-ranking official in the Department of Defense (DoD), Lynn will report directly to Robert Gates, the secretary of defense who came out strongly in support of Lynn, saying that he requested the waiver from the president.

Among other responsibilities, the deputy secretary serves as the co-chair of the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee (ExCom).

Gates has been given considerable latitude by Obama to retain key defense officials from the Bush administration — including John Grimes, assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration (ASD/NII) and the DoD CIO, charged under a 2008 directive with overseeing PNT policy and all aspects of GPS.