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Immediate Release

Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Ms. Sasha Baker's Statement on the Departure of Dr. Mara Karlin

Today, the Department of Defense acknowledges with profound gratitude the upcoming departure of Dr. Mara Karlin, who served in multiple critical roles, including as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; later as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities; and most recently as Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

After nearly three years of dedicated service, Dr. Karlin will depart for academia next week. During her tenure, she managed the writing and ongoing implementation of the National Defense Strategy, a pivotal document in guiding the department, particularly in linking strategy to resources, even amid evolving global crises.

Among other critical responsibilities, Dr. Karlin led and provided strategic counsel to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III during the formation of a new emerging capabilities policy office; the historic modernization of U.S. force posture in the Indo-Pacific; the implementation of the Australia-United Kingdom-United States partnership (AUKUS); reform of the security cooperation workforce; and the development of the Defense Planning Guidance, Guidance for the Employment of the Force, and Contingency Planning Guidance. Additionally, throughout the greater part of 2021 she led the department's relations with nearly 150 countries in Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere.

I deeply appreciate Dr. Karlin's dedication, strategic acumen, and her profound commitment to public service. Her contributions significantly strengthened the department's strategic approach and preparedness for future security challenges. As Dr. Karlin embarks on her next chapter, we wish her the very best and are confident that her impact on national security will continue to resonate for years to come.

Upon Dr. Karlin's departure, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs Melissa Dalton, will Perform the Duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.