- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2020

The Pentagon announced Friday that Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, two of President Trump’s closest political allies, have been tapped to join the Defense Business Board as part a major shakeup on the panel and the latest in a string of personnel moves in and around the Defense Department.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Acting Defense Secretary Christoper Miller announced 11 new appointments to the board, which was established in 2002 and advises Pentagon leadership on business management issues. Throughout its history, it has widely been viewed as an apolitical body.

“I’m proud to welcome each of these new members to the Defense Business Board and I look forward to their contributions to help guide the department’s business efforts in the coming years,” Mr. Miller said. “These individuals have a proven record of achievement within their respective fields and have demonstrated leadership that will serve our Department, and our nation well.”

Mr. Miller was appointed to his current role less than a month ago after the president abruptly fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Mr. Lewandowski served as Mr. Trump’s campaign manager in 2015 and 2016, while Mr. Bossie served as an adviser to the Trump campaign. The president also tasked Mr. Bossie with leading ongoing challenges to election results in several key states, though his role was diminished after he tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

In addition to Mr. Lewandowski and Mr. Bossie, the other appointments announced Friday were: Henry Dreifus; Robert McMahon; Cory Mills; Bill Bruner; Christopher Shank; Joseph Schmidt; Keary Miller; Alan Weh; Earl Matthews.

The terms of nine previous board members ended Friday. The Pentagon said the nine individuals “had been serving in expired positions,” though Politico reported Friday that at least three of the members said they had time remaining in their service.

“A number of board members have been terminated with a form letter. In my experience, I was very surprised that the White House would, at the 11th hour, adjust an advisory board that for 19 years has had a record of nonpartisan support with the department,” Michael Bayer, who until Friday served as board chair, told Politico.

The other members whose terms ended Friday are: Arnold Punaro; Atul Vashisitha; John O’Connor; David Venlet; Paul Dolan; Scott Dorn; David Walker; and David Van Slyk.

The board is tasked with providing Pentagon leaders “private sector perspectives and lessons learned on business management, culture, principles, and practices not otherwise available,” according to its website.

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