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On the evening of January 3, the U.S. Senate confirmed to be under secretary of defense for policy with a vote of 81 to 7. Rood will join the Department of Defense (DOD) from defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation, where he’s served as senior vice president of Lockheed Martin International since March 2016. From June 2014 to March 2016, Rood was the company’s vice president of domestic business development and operations. Prior to joining Lockheed, Rood was vice president of U.S. business development at Raytheon Company. With a federal career spanning over two decades, Rood has held positions at the National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, he served as Department of State (DOS) acting under secretary for arms control and international security from 2007 to 2009, DOS assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation from 2006 to 2007, and DOD deputy assistant secretary for forces policy from 2003 to 2005. Rood earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Arizona State University.


The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) is empty after the remaining ten members were dismissed December 27. Six members of the council resigned in June, citing the Trump administration’s prospective health policies. The administration has so far attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on which the majority of U.S. HIV patients depend; cut funding to international health programs under the Mexico City policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule; promoted abstinence education in place of comprehensive sexual education; and failed to appoint a director of National AIDS Policy, all policies experts say will likely set back the fight against the disease. Nominations for new council members were due January 2.


On Wednesday, January 3, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the appointment of 17 new interim United States attorneys. Seven of the appointees have been serving in an acting capacity since March 2017 but reached the maximum 300 days permitted to serve on January 4, 2018. Each of the 17 new interim U.S. attorneys have past experience as a federal prosecutor. Geoffrey Berman will lead the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx, and several surrounding counties. Berman was an assistant U.S. attorney in this district from 1990 to 1994 and was most recently a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. This position has formerly been held by Rudy Giuliani, James Comey, and Preet Bharara.

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