Biden picks Storch for DOD inspector general

By Tony Bertuca / November 15, 2021 at 3:36 PM

President Biden today announced his intent to nominate National Security Agency Inspector General Robert Storch to be Defense Department inspector general, according to a White House announcement.

Storch, the first IG at the NSA to be appointed by a president, was nominated to that post by former President Trump and assumed his current responsibilities in January 2018.

“He has worked with the team at the NSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to enhance the impact, the independence, and the transparency of the office’s work, including the creation of its independent public website, and the now-regular public release of unclassified versions of its Semiannual Reports to Congress with a number of underlying reports and summaries,” the White House said.

Prior to becoming the IG at the NSA, Storch worked at the inspector general’s office at the Justice Department, serving for several years as deputy IG.

The Pentagon has not had a Senate-confirmed IG in place since January 2016.

Sean O’Donnell, the IG for the Environmental Protection Agency, is currently the acting DOD IG, put in place in April 2020 by Trump after the demotion of Glenn Fine, who had been acting in the position since January 2016.

Fine resigned amid fierce criticism of Trump, who removed several inspectors general over a period of weeks in the spring of 2020.

Prior to losing his bid for reelection, Trump nominated Jason Abend for the DOD watchdog post. At the time, Abend was a senior policy adviser at Customs and Border Protection and was criticized by lawmakers during his confirmation process for having never served as an IG before. He was never confirmed by the Senate.

Meanwhile, Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the DOD IG’s office, said O’Donnell’s designation as acting inspector general expires at the end of this month.