The Atlantic Council congratulates Chuck Hagel on his confirmation as the 24th US secretary of defense. Secretary Hagel has served as chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Board of Directors since 2009, overseeing a period of significant growth in the organization’s size and influence. Under his chairmanship, the Council expanded to nine programs and centers focused on addressing crucial global challenges ranging from violent extremism to financial instability and from NATO’s future to energy security.

General Brent Scowcroft, the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board chairman and US national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, will serve as interim chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Board of Directors while a search for a permanent successor is under way.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with Chuck Hagel for the past four years in his capacity as Atlantic Council chairman,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “He is a man of unshakable integrity who takes strong points of view, thinks of the strategic consequences, and puts the pieces together for sound policy. I look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish at the Pentagon.”  

“I applaud the Senate for confirming Chuck Hagel to lead the Department of Defense, where he will bring the same longstanding commitment to bipartisanship and engagement with our allies that the Atlantic Council greatly benefited from during his chairmanship,” said General Scowcroft.

Secretary Hagel’s nomination was endorsed by numerous former secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, national security advisors, ambassadors, senior military officers, and other national security officials.