Eric Chewning, US Defence Secretary’s Chief of Staff, resigns

Eric Chewning - Outgoing Chief of Staff to US Defence Secretary

Eric Chewning, Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, is resigning from the Pentagon, effectively at the end of the month. Chewning has worked for the Department of Defence since October 2017 and been in his current role since January 2019.

Chewning’s departure comes after a series of senior Pentagon officials have announced their resignations in recent weeks, including the director of Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the acting Under-Secretary for Personnel and Readiness, the Principal Deputy Under-Secretary for Intelligence, and the Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

A statement from Pentagon spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, says Chewning will be replaced by Jen Stewart, the top Republican staffer on the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and a former top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Politico and NBC report that Chewning, a former Army intelligence officer and combat veteran, has managed the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Secretary of Defense through a historic number of leadership changes, working for four Pentagon chiefs.

He joined the Pentagon in 2017 as deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy from McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm where he specialized in the aerospace industry.

Chewning was featured in a recently released trove of unredacted emails that show Pentagon officials’ concerns with the legality of White House moves to hold up military assistance to Ukraine, an issue at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment and upcoming trial in the US Senate.

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