President Joe Biden on July 16 nominated acquisition guru and longtime Capitol Hill aide, Andrew Hunter, to serve as U.S. Air Force acquisition secretary.
Hunter served in a number of positions in Congress, including in the 1990s as the defense aide for then-Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), as legislative director for then Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), and as a staff member of Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China.
Hunter directs the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and, if confirmed, will follow in the footsteps of fellow CSIS alumni, Kathleen Hicks, who is serving as deputy defense secretary.
Former Air Force acquisition chief, Will Roper, who possessed a breadth of technical expertise, resigned on Jan. 20, as the Biden administration opted not to retain him, and Darlene Costello has been serving as the acting service acquisition chief.
At CSIS, Hunter has delved into industrial base issues that include emerging technologies, sequestration, acquisition policy, and industrial policy. From 2011 to November 2014, he served as a Pentagon senior executive, including as the director of the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell in 2013, where he was charged with fielding solutions to urgent operational needs and leading the work of the Warfighter Senior Integration Group “to ensure timely action on critical issues of warfighter support,” per his CSIS biography.
Hunter also has ties to Biden’s pick for Air Force secretary, Frank Kendall, as Hunter served as Kendall’s chief of staff when Kendall served as DoD acquisition chief in 2012.