“Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy has today announced her intention to step down and return to private life. In her discussions with me, Michèle made clear that her decision to leave is motivated by personal and family considerations. I am very pleased that she has agreed to stay on until early next year to enable a smooth transition.
“Michèle has been an invaluable advisor to me during my six months as secretary of defense, and has been an outstanding departmental leader for nearly three years at a time of great consequence for our nation’s defense. From guiding our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, to helping set the department’s priorities and global posture through the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review as well as the strategy review that has been underway this year, Michèle has made a strong and lasting positive imprint on this department and on our nation’s security.
“Michèle is a treasured colleague, and the entire Department of Defense will be sad to see her go, but she has built an incredible team that is a testament to her leadership. I will personally miss her valued counsel, but I understand the stresses and strains that holding senior administration positions can have on families. I look forward to having the opportunity to paying full tribute to Michèle and wish her and her family all the best in the next stage of their lives. I’m confident that she will have many years of service in her future.”