Who Is Christine Wormuth? Ex-Obama Official Unanimously Confirmed as Joe Biden's Army Secretary

The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Christine Wormuth, a former official at the National Security Council (NSC) under former President Barack Obama's administration, as President Joe Biden's Secretary of the Army.

Wormuth was made the Army's first female secretary on Thursday by the Senate and is the second woman under Biden to be placed in a top Pentagon position after Kathleen Hicks, the deputy secretary of defense, the Associated Press reported. During Wormuth's hearing this month, where she was warmly received, senators fired questions at her about multiple issues within the Army, such as sexual assault.

In regards to recent controversies at the Army's Fort Hood base in Texas involving incidents such as murder, suicide and sexual assault, Wormuth said she was "angry and frustrated" at the base's failures in dealing with crimes while speaking in front of the Senate's Armed Services Committee.

Wormuth also emphasized the responsibility of the Army to "put quite a bit of focus" on fixing the nature of its command throughout all levels to ensure the safety of soldiers. Her past experiences include long standing work with the Pentagon such as prior positions under Obama as undersecretary of defense for policy and the senior director for defense policy at the NSC.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Christine Wormuth is Now U.S. Army Secretary
Former Defense Undersecretary for Policy Christine Wormuth testifies at the House Armed Services Full Committee hearing on "The President's Proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIL and U.S. Policy, Strategy, and Posture in the Greater Middle East" in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Wormuth was unanimously confirmed as Secretary of the Army by the Senate under President Joe Biden. Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

Wormuth led President Joe Biden's transition team at the Pentagon.

Her confirmation sets her up as one of the more powerful officials in a defense establishment long dominated by men.

During her hearing, many of the senators also pressed Wormuth on a range of personnel issues that have plagued the Army such as racial tensions and strains on a force that has been in combat in multiple war zones for the last two decades.

The Army's handling of sexual assaults and other violence has come under significant scrutiny in the aftermath of a series of crimes at Fort Hood. A review panel found that military leaders at the post were not adequately dealing with high rates of sexual assault and harassment and were utterly neglecting the sexual assault prevention program.

Wormuth also said younger soldiers need to feel safe and make complaints if needed.

She will take over her post just as military service leaders are facing pressure to change how they prosecute sexual assaults and other crimes. An independent panel has recommended that decisions to prosecute service members for sexual assault be made by independent authorities, not commanders, a major change that has been resisted by the military. And members of Congress strongly back such a change.

Wormuth has worked on a variety of national security issues in her history in various Defense Department positions. She also previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary for homeland defense.

Her most recent job was as director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corp., a federally funded think tank.

Christine Wormuth, Army's First Female Secretary
Nominee to be Secretary of the Army Christine Elizabeth Wormuth speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo