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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 012-00
January 10, 2000

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE OF DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today the departure of Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre on Friday, March 31, 2000, to become president and chief executive officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"John Hamre has been my friend and partner in running the department," said Cohen. "He approaches all issues with extreme confidence and an extraordinary sense of humor. He is committed to fixing problems with solutions that are effective, practical and fair to all concerned.

"He has made contributions in many areas, but his biggest achievements have been in increasing computer security, bringing better business practices to the department, winning increases in Defense spending to improve readiness and procurement and helping Defense contractors and the department adapt to global business conditions. He has had a major impact on the department, and I will miss him when he leaves."

Cohen also announced his recommendation that the President nominate Rudy de Leon to replace Hamre as deputy secretary of Defense. De Leon currently serves as under secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

"Rudy de Leon has dealt with many of the department's toughest and most important issues -- maintaining readiness, improving the quality of life for troops and families and making sure that the department remains a leader in providing equal opportunity to all," said Cohen.

Biographies for Hamre and de Leon are available on line.