Pick to Lead DOD Acquisition Withdraws His Nomination

Michael Brown, the Pentagon’s nominee to lead Defense Department acquisition, has withdrawn his nomination, citing ongoing scrutiny for allegedly circumventing hiring regulations while leading the Defense Innovation Unit.

Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said July 14 that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III received a letter from Brown “expressing his desire” to withdraw from the nomination process. Brown raised concerns about a lengthy investigation and a desire not to slow down the nomination process, Kirby said.

Brown has led the Defense Innovation Unit since 2018, and when asked if he would still lead that unit, Kirby said he did not have personnel changes to announce.

President Joe Biden nominated Brown for the role in early April. Later that month, Defense One reported that Brown allegedly circumvented hiring regulations, with some employees having received special treatment. This allegedly included the DIU writing job descriptions specifically to eliminate other applicants.

The Defense Innovation Unit, established in 2015, is the Pentagon’s direct line to Silicon Valley and other technology hubs for outreach between the Defense Department and tech industry.

The news of Brown withdrawing was first reported by Inside Defense