American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON – Ashton B. Carter was sworn in as deputy secretary of defense in a private Pentagon ceremony this morning.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Carter in his new position Sept. 23. He most recently served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, a job he assumed in April 2009.
Carter succeeds William J. Lynn III, who took office Feb. 12, 2009, and returns to private life.
Following Carter’s Senate confirmation, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked senators for their “strong vote of confidence” in Carter.
“Ash has a steady hand, a keen intellect, and an effective management style that will help this department keep faith with our troops and protect our nation,” Panetta said. “He is already an essential part of my team as an outstanding undersecretary of defense, and I look forward to his continued guidance and leadership as he assumes his new responsibilities.”
Panetta said Lynn “served with distinction and was a tireless advocate for our men and women in uniform.”
“I wish Bill and his family all the best for the future,” the secretary added.
The deputy secretary of defense is delegated full power and authority to act for the secretary of defense and exercise the powers of the secretary on any matters for which the secretary is authorized to act.
Before filling the undersecretary position, Carter was chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and co-director with former Defense Secretary William J. Perry of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Harvard and Stanford universities.
Carter served as a member of the Defense Science Board from 1991-1993 and 1997-2001, the Defense Policy Board from 1997-2001, and on the secretary of state’s International Security Advisory Board from 2006-2008.
In 2001-2002, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism and advised on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Carter holds bachelor's degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale University and a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar.