05.12.09

Leahy Aide Nominated To Air Force Post

. . . Will Lead Air Force Arm That Oversees Manpower And Reserve Affairs Including Staffing, Structure And Equipment For The Air National Guard

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released a statement Tuesday after President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Daniel Ginsberg, currently a defense aide to Leahy, to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

“President Obama has made another superb choice for his administration,” said Leahy.  “Daniel Ginsberg combines the talents of being a keen analyst with the knowledge of how to get things done in the legislative process and in the defense bureaucracy.  National Guard members and units in Vermont and across the land will never know that his hard work has made innumerable improvements in their daily lives and in the readiness of the force.  I’m proud of Daniel and of the good things we have worked together to accomplish for Vermont and for the men, women and families of the Guard.”

If confirmed in his role at the Department of the Air Force, Ginsberg would supervise manpower, military and civilian personnel, Reserve component affairs, and readiness support for the Department of the Air Force, an organization with nearly 700,000 military and civilian personnel and a budget of more than $144 billion.  His nomination will be considered by both the Armed Service Committee and the full Senate.

Ginsberg currently is the Senior Defense Policy Advisor to Leahy and has been a legislative assistant to him since 1999.  He assists Leahy with his work as a top member of the U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee – the Senate panel that handles the writing of the annual Defense Department budget bill --  and as the co-chair of the U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus.  Leahy, with Republican co-chair Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), has built and energized the Guard Caucus to become a major factor in congressional decisions affecting the Guard, its members, its structure and its equipment.  Leahy and Bond convinced the Senate to repeal the so-called “Insurrection Act Rider” that temporarily gave President Bush much greater authority in taking control of state Guard units in emergencies, and Leahy, with Bond, has successfully won approval of several measures reducing the Guard’s equipment backlogs.  Leahy works closely with Vermont’s National Guard in meeting its needs, and Ginsberg, said Leahy, has done “superb staff work” in following through on these projects.  Ginsberg earlier served on the staff of U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services during the chairmanship of U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D) of Georgia.  He also has held various positions at RAND, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, on the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and with the United States Mission to NATO.  In addition to completing studies at the London School of Economics and a yearlong fellowship at the University of Chicago, Ginsberg holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.           

Earlier this year the Senate confirmed Kathleen Merrigan, another former Leahy aide, as the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture -- the number two post at the agency – and other former Leahy aides serve in other senior positions in the new administration.

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