Head of Pentagon Innovation Unit Withdraws Nomination for Higher Post

The director of a Pentagon unit that works with technology companies withdrew his nomination to become the Defense Department’s undersecretary for acquisition due to an inspector general’s investigation into his office.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations have identified Michael Brown, a former Silicon Valley executive, as a leader in the Pentagon’s drive to streamline the military’s adoption of private-sector innovation and deny China access to U.S. technology.

Mr. Brown, who currently heads the Defense Innovation Unit, withdrew from consideration as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment this week in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In the letter, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Brown said an investigation into the DIU by the Pentagon’s inspector general would delay his nomination for up to a year and so he would step aside.

The letter didn’t provide details on the investigation. A spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s inspector general declined to comment on the matter. A Pentagon spokesman declined to provide details on the investigation.

Mr. Brown didn’t respond to a request for comment. A DIU spokeswoman said Mr. Brown plans to remain director of the unit, but wouldn’t comment on the investigation.

Source: WSJ – US News

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