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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Appointment of Derek Chollet as Chief of Staff

I am delighted that Derek Chollet will start in July as my Chief of Staff. He is one of the most distinguished, far-sighted, and skillful national-security practitioners of his generation, and I am grateful to him for taking on this key assignment at such an important moment. 

Derek has served with distinction in senior policy roles at the White House, the Pentagon, and the Department of State, including his current role as Counselor of the Department of State, where he has performed superbly as one of the top policy advisers to my friend Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. Derek will be returning to the Pentagon after serving from 2012-15 as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He has also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council staff and as the Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. Until 2020, he was Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is a proud son of Lincoln, Nebraska.