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DoD’s Acquisition Chief Carter Stays Put

Ashton Carter, DoD; Photo: defense.gov

Harvard was calling his name, but the Defense Department’s acquisition chief Ashton Carter isn’t going anywhere soon.

In an interview with Aviation Week, Carter, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said he would resign his tenured position with Harvard University to stay on at his DoD post.

“I came here committed to the tasks that we have undertaken, and that will take time and determination and I knew that from the beginning,” he told Aviation Week.

“I intend to be here and see them through,” he added, saying he would stay on as procurement czar for “as long as the president and the secretary of defense want me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Before assuming his DoD post in 2009, Carter was chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Harvard allows tenured faculty a two-year leave of absence for public service, which will come due at the end of April for Carter.

But, while Carter has made it clear he’s staying put, speculation is still swirling around when, exactly, Carter’s boss, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will leave DoD for retirement. He has publicly said he will step down in early 2011, but Politico now reports some defense officials predict he could actually stay on well into next year.

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