In the News

The next secretary of defense should be a woman

Lawrence J. Korb asserts that the next U.S. secretary of defense should be a woman.

In the nearly 75 years since the Department of Defense was created in 1947, Democratic and Republican presidents have appointed 27 people to the top job in the Pentagon, the secretary of defense. However, all the appointees have been males. Consequently there have been increasing calls for former Vice President Biden, who has been declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election to break the glass ceiling and to select the first female secretary of defense.

The ideal candidate for the post would be a person with the background to make the difficult decisions about when and how to use military force, which missions to prioritize and which to deemphasize or eliminate, and is comfortable dealing with the uniform leaders and the chairs of the congressional Armed Service and Defense Appropriations committees on national, as well as local issues, especially when the military leaders or members of Congress might disagree with administration policies.

The above excerpt was originally published in Military Times. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow