President Donald Trump nominated Ellen Lord to take over the soon-to-be-defunct position of Defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.
If confirmed by the Senate, Lord would serve as undersecretary of AT&L until February 2018, when that role splits to form two new offices: one for research and engineering, and the other for acquisition and sustainment, which Lord will subsequently head. The division is mandated under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
Lord, previously the president and CEO of Textron Systems, will replace acting Undersecretary James MacStravic and permanently fill the void left by Frank Kendall, who served in the role for much of the Obama administration. Prior to Kendall, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter also served in the role.
At Textron, she managed “businesses providing hardware and software for unmanned systems, precision weapons, marine craft, armored vehicles, simulation and training, electronic warfare, and intelligence software to the United States Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, as well as a variety of international customers,” according to a White House announcement.
It remains to be seen if Lord’s positions before and after the AT&L split will continue to promote innovation in the DOD supply chain like Kendall did at the helm. His championing of the Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative placed added emphasis on the Pentagon’s technological superiority in a time of declining budgets and evolving forms of warfare.