Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, today issued the following statement encouraging President-elect Biden to nominate Michèle Flournoy as Secretary of Defense.

“We encourage President-elect Biden to seriously consider nominating Michèle Flournoy to be Secretary of Defense. As chairs of the House Armed Services Committee’s Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee and the Military Personnel subcommittee, we are keenly aware of the critical need for a leader with Flournoy’s expertise on complex national security issues. Ms. Flournoy’s sound policy experience will be vital to ensuring strong civilian oversight of the military, professionalism and ethics in our special operations forces, workforce diversity, and activities to strengthen our technological edge through science and innovation.

“Flournoy would be the first woman nominated to be Secretary of Defense. As the Department struggles with toxic workplace culture even as it opens special operations and the combat arms to women, breaking this glass ceiling is long overdue. The U.S. military has had difficulty attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, and the top ranks at the Pentagon remain unreflective of America. Ms. Flournoy understands that a diverse workforce is essential to innovation and improving the effectiveness of national security problem solving.

“As senior members of Congress, we sincerely appreciate that Ms. Flournoy is held in the highest regard as a preeminent defense policy expert who has worked tirelessly to develop effective bipartisan solutions to the nation's problems. She is trusted and empowered by those she works with and those who work for her. Following the tumultuous past four years, Ms. Flournoy’s steady leadership, future vision, and firm grasp of strategy, personnel policy, and the next generation of defense technologies is exactly what we need.”