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Top Pentagon Policy Adviser Resigns

Monday, 12 Dec 2011 05:47 PM

 

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon's first female policy chief, is stepping down for personal reasons early next year, officials said Monday.

Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, made the decision to resign to spend more time with her family, they said. She plans to help President Barack Obama informally in his 2012 re-election campaign, a spokeswoman said.

Flournoy, 50, had been touted by analysts early this year as a long-shot candidate to succeed to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who stepped down at the end of June. That would have made her the first female secretary of defense.

Gates was instead replaced by former CIA director Leon Panetta. Panetta praised Flournoy's work, calling her an "invaluable adviser" during his first months on the job.

"I will personally miss her valued counsel but I understand the stresses and strains that holding senior administration positions can have on families," Panetta said in a statement.

Flournoy is the co-founder and former president of the Center for New American Security, a Washington think-tank.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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