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Patrick Shanahan to replace James Mattis as US Defence Secretary

Patrick Shanahan will be taking over as the acting US Defence Secretary from January 1, 2019, replacing James Mattis, who announced his resignation recently. The announcement was made by US President Donald Trump through a tweet.

Dec 24, 2018 10:15 IST
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Patrick Shanahan will be taking over as the acting US Defence Secretary from January 1, 2019, replacing James Mattis, who resigned abruptly recently. The announcement was made by US President Donald Trump through a tweet on December 23, 2018.

In his resignation letter, Mattis had offered to stay on for two months in order to facilitate a smooth transition. However, the President announced Shanahan, who is currently serving as the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as the replacement of Mattis two months earlier than planned.

James Mattis had abruptly announced his resignation on December 20, 2018, citing policy differences with President Donald Trump as the main reason behind the move. The resignation came a day after President Donald Trump announced that all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.

About Patrick Shanahan

  Patrick Shanahan to replace James Mattis as US Defence Secretary A native of Aberdeen, Washington, Patrick Shanahan attended the University of Washington where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He then earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986, becoming involved in Computer Services and the Boeing 777 program. He played a spearheading role in the recovery of Boeing's 787 programme.

He served as the Vice President of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and General Manager of the Boeing 757 program, with responsibility for the design, production and profitability of the 757 family of planes. He also held leadership positions on the Boeing 767 program and in the fabrication division.

He then served as the Vice President and General Manager for Boeing rotorcraft systems in Philadelphia. He was responsible for all US Army Aviation programs and site activities in Philadelphia and Mesa, Arizona.

He then served as the Vice President and General Manager of Boeing missile defence systems, starting in December 2004 overseeing the ground-based midcourse defence system, airborne laser and advanced tactical laser programs.

He also served as the vice president and general manager of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program, where he led the program during a period of the aircraft's development from 2007 to 2008. He next served as the Senior Vice President of Airplane Programs at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, beginning in December 2008.

  Patrick Shanahan to replace James Mattis as US Defence Secretary

In April 2016, he became Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Operations, for Boeing. His responsibilities in that position included manufacturing operations and supplier management functions, carrying out advanced manufacturing technologies and global supply chain strategies. He was also a member of the Boeing Executive Council.

In March 2017, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Shanahan as the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon's second-highest civilian position. He received confirmation from the Senate in June 2017.  

President Trump initially announced that Shanahan would be elevated as the Acting Defense Secretary on February 28, when the Mattis resignation was originally to become effective but a follow-up announcement stated that Shanahan would be elevated to the position two months prior to the designated date.

• Shanahan now is scheduled to assume the office on January 1, 2019.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigns, cites differences with Trump

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