WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama today nominated Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel to be the 24th US Secretary of Defense. Under Senator Hagel’s leadership since 2009, the Atlantic Council has grown significantly in its scope, size, and influence, adding new practice areas and regional centers that have expanded its global reach.

Upon Senate confirmation of Senator Hagel, General Brent Scowcroft, Atlantic Council International Advisory Board chairman and two-time US National Security Advisor, will serve as interim chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Board of Directors while a search for Senator Hagel’s successor is under way.

“Senator Hagel, during his two terms on Capitol Hill, famously said that he took an oath to the constitution and not to his party,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council president and CEO. “His approach to addressing crucial global challenges is to forge bipartisan support at home and deepen engagement with allies and friends abroad—the essence of the Atlantic Council mission. We praise President Obama for his wisdom in employing Senator Hagel’s unique experience and talents.”

Said General Scowcroft, “Senator Hagel is one of the most well-respected and thoughtful voices on both foreign and domestic policy. At an uncertain time in America—with a significant debt burden, a polarized Congress, and a host of challenges facing the international community—we are confident Senator Hagel will be able to provide a vibrant, no-nonsense voice of logic and leadership to the United States.”

Senator Hagel currently serves as a distinguished professor at Georgetown University, as a co-chairman of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board. During his two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska, he was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. A decorated veteran with two Purple Hearts, he also serves as chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee.

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Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe is available to comment this week on Senator Hagel’s nomination. To schedule, please contact Taleen Ananian at [email protected].

The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s global challenges.