President Clinton has announced his intention to nominate former MIT provost John M. Deutch to be deputy defense secretary, the No. 2 job in the Pentagon.
Dr. Deutch has been the third-ranking member of the Department of Defense for the past year as undersecretary for acquisition and technology. According to press reports, Dr. Deutch is likely to be confirmed without difficulty and is expected to continue work in his new post on reforming the way the department acquires weapons and technology.
Dr. Deutch, Institute Professor and professor of chemistry who served as provost from 1985 to October1990, will succeed William Perry, who moved from deputy secretary to secretary following the resignation of Les Aspin from the top defense post.
In nominating Dr. Deutch, President Clinton said, "John Deutch is a sound and sophisticated adviser whose experience on military technology and policy has served the Department of Defense well in his tenure as undersecretary of defense. Secretary Perry and I will rely heavily on his knowledge, imagination and judgment as we work to maintain the strongest military in the world in a time of budgetary constraints."
Secretary Perry said, "I know he will excel as my right hand, managing the day-to-day activities of the department."
MIT President Charles M. Vest told The Tech, "This is a very important appointment and very much in keeping with MIT's long history of serving the federal government at high levels." Provost Mark S. Wrighton told the student newspaper Dr. Deutch "has demonstrated wisdom, leadership and effectiveness in a critical set of areas" and is "uniquely well-qualified for his new role."
Dr. Deutch has held advisory or consulting posts in seven presidential administrations.
While on leave from MIT from October 1977 to March 1980, he was at the US Department of Energy as director of the Office of Energy Research, as acting assistant secretary for energy technology, and as undersecretary of the department.
At other times he has served as a member of the President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee, the President's Commission on Strategic Forces, the Defense Science Board, the White House Council and the President's Foreign Intelligence Board.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 24).