Michael Brown, who now heads the Defense Department’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), has requested that his name be withdrawn from consideration as the nominee for Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment at DoD.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Brown cited an ongoing investigation by the DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG) as the reason for his withdrawal.
Brown has been subject to an OIG investigation evaluating personnel practices at DIU and accusations of nepotism, after one of his former employees alleged to the IG that he handed contracts and jobs to close allies and friends in a way that pushed the ethical boundaries in that role. The allegation came soon after Brown’s nomination was announced in April.
He stated that service members deserve quick Senate-confirmed leadership, and the investigation is poised to take more than a year, tying up his nomination process.
“While I am confident the Office of Inspector General will ultimately find no wrongdoing on my part, I know there are other qualified candidates who can focus on the urgent business of making our acquisition processes faster and more cost-effective,” Brown wrote in his letter.
Brown added that while he must put the interests of the DoD above his enthusiasm to serve as the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment, he will continue to lead DIU.