Wormuth took over stewardship of the transition team from Kathleen Hicks, who bowed out to focus on the confirmation process after she was nominated to be the Pentagon’s No. 2. Wormuth also served as a co-chair of a defense working group on the Biden campaign.
After a stint at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Wormuth returned to the Pentagon as a political appointee working on homeland defense in early 2009. In 2010, she moved to the National Security Council, where she directed defense policy and strategy, before returning once more to the Pentagon as deputy under secretary of defense for strategy, plans and force development in 2012. In that position, she led the department’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. She rose to hold the Pentagon’s top policy job in 2014.
As the Pentagon’s policy chief, Wormuth worked to carry out Obama’s pivot to the Asia Pacific, and shaped the U.S. military’s counter-ISIS campaign alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who at the time was the commander of U.S. Central Command. Wormuth and Austin together weathered backlash over a costly program to train Syrian fighters that spent $500 million but trained only a handful of fighters.
Wormuth most recently served as director for the international security and defense policy center at Rand.
Once officially nominated, Wormuth would be the new administration’s seventh person tapped for a senior position. The Senate has already confirmed Austin and Hicks and is considering the nomination of Colin Kahl for policy chief. The administration also recently nominated people for the top acquisition, comptroller and intelligence posts.