President Salutes Hamre's Defense Achievements
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2000 President Clinton has thanked departing Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre for his service to America, calling him a "respected, decisive and forward- leaning leader," and praising him for his work in implementing the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review and the Defense Reform Initiative.
Hamre announced he will step down from his Pentagon post March 31 to become president and chief executive officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen has recommended the president nominate Rudy de Leon, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, as Hamre's successor.
In a Jan. 10 White House statement, Clinton praised Hamre for instituting a wide range of innovative defense management initiatives and defense contracting reforms.
"His impact on Pentagon business procedures that will be felt long after his departure," the president said. "Although I will miss his advice as deputy secretary, I am pleased the nation will continue to benefit from his vast knowledge and experience in defense policy."
Hamre has served as deputy secretary since July 1997 and, prior to that, had been DoD comptroller, or chief financial officer. Clinton called Hamre a pivotal adviser as the nation directed necessary resources toward the armed forces' readiness challenges.
"He was a driving force behind the increase in the defense budget and the increased benefits for military personnel that I signed into law last year," the president said. Hamre also led DoD's successful efforts to ensure critical computer systems were Y2K compliant.