Acting Up

/ January 26, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Shay Assad, the director of defense procurement at the Pentagon, has a new title, temporarily; he's now the acting deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, according to John Young, the under secretary.

Assad is filling in for James Finley, who, as was expected, left the building before the Obama administration took over.

Young made Assad's acting role official in a Jan. 19 memo.

Before the Obama team can get around to filling the deputy job full-time, of course, it must find someone to succeed Young, who is sticking around until a replacement is confirmed.

While Harvard's Ashton Carter, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during the Clinton administration's first term, was thought to be a strong candidate for several weeks, his lack of acquisition experience has, according to some observers, made him less likely to get the nod.

The latest name getting the most buzz for frontrunner status is that of David Oliver, retired rear admiral and former principal deputy under secretary for acquisition. Oliver now serves as a higher-up at EADS North America and played a big role for that company in the tanker competition, which is sure to raise some eyebrows on Capitol Hill should he be Obama's pick.

-- Dan Dupont

53122