WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced Cara Abercrombie as his pick to take over as assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, a post without a permanent leader since early 2021.

Abercrombie currently serves as deputy assistant to the president and as a coordinator for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council. She previously worked as acting deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and has held numerous leadership positions within the Defense Department since 2003.

If confirmed, she would take over the office from Tanya Skeen, who served in the post for the last 13 months in an acting role. The job oversees various acquisition program management responsibilities, including development of space, intelligence and business systems.

Her nomination comes two days after Radha Iyengar Plumb was confirmed as deputy assistant secretary of defense for acquisition in a 68-30 Senate vote.

It was one of only a few Pentagon leadership posts to be confirmed this year, since Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., announced a hold on all Defense Department nominations and promotions over his objection to military policies regarding travel allowances for troops to receive abortion services.

Senate Democrats have decried the move and urged Tuberville’s Republican colleagues to intervene. But Tuberville on Thursday said he has had no contact from top Defense Department officials in recent weeks over the issue, and has no plans to relent in his objections.

No timetable was set for when Abercrombie may appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee for her confirmation hearing.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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