Top DOD policy official leaving office

By Georgina DiNardo / March 25, 2024 at 5:26 PM

Sasha Baker, acting under secretary of defense for policy, plans to resign at the end of April, according to a Pentagon announcement.

Amanda Dory, currently the director of the Africa Center of Strategic Studies at National Defense University, will replace Baker in the position, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in DOD statement today.

Austin said that Baker is stepping down to move onto “her next chapter.”

“Under her leadership, our Policy team has helped the Department navigate a range of complex global challenges, including major crises in Ukraine and the Middle East,” Austin wrote. “Her strategic acumen and steadfast commitment to our national security have helped her play a pivotal role in shaping our defense policies, tackling emerging threats, and strengthening interagency relationships and international alliances.”

Dory will resume the role as acting under secretary when Baker leaves in April as Derek Chollet, who has been nominated for the post, has yet to be confirmed.

Chollet was nominated in July 2023 but he faced GOP opposition during a contentious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in September about his involvement in the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Austin today urged the Senate to confirm Chollet.

“At this crucial moment for U.S. defense policy, the Department needs a confirmed principal adviser in this critical role,” Austin wrote.

Meanwhile, Melissa Dalton, who took over for Mara Karlin’s position performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy in December, is set to leave that role as she was confirmed by the Senate last week to be under secretary of the Air Force.