Hicks, a career civil servant who started at the Pentagon as a management intern in 1993, returns to a department buffeted by COVID-19 and looking to counter near-peer competitors. She will work with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to "operationalize" the strategy to counter the "pacing challenge" posed by China and the increased threat from a resurgent Russia.
During her confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hicks said she looked forward to working "alongside women and men — civilian and military — who dedicate their lives to our national defense. They are my colleagues and friends, and I could not be prouder at the prospect of serving with them once more."
Hicks is coming to the job after serving as the senior vice president and Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies — one of the preeminent Washington think tanks.