Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced today that Susan Morrisey Livingstone is stepping down as acting secretary of the Navy. The president intends to designate Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment Hansford T. (H.T.) Johnson as acting secretary of the Navy, in addition to his normal responsibilities.
Livingstone, who has served as under secretary of the Navy since July 2001, became the acting secretary of the Navy on Jan. 24 when Gordon England left the Department of the Navy for the Department of Homeland Security. She had previously asked not to be considered to succeed England, but will continue in the post of under secretary to ensure a smooth transition for the incoming acting secretary.
Livingstone proposed the designation of a new acting secretary to provide for continuity and to ensure the new Navy secretary, when appointed, has the opportunity to participate in the selection of a new under secretary.
Rumsfeld thanked Livingstone for her service. "You have served the department with great distinction as under secretary of the Navy." Rumsfeld said, "Your proposed course of action demonstrates continued exceptional leadership, dedication and commitment to the Navy and Marine Corps."
"My foremost concern has been continuity of leadership, and service and support to our magnificent men and women in uniform," Livingstone said. "This was a difficult decision, but I know that H.T. is a capable leader who will serve the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps well. It remains a high privilege and a great honor to serve our fine sailors and Marines."