President Biden has nominated Laura Taylor-Kale to be the next assistant secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, the White House announced May 13.

Taylor-Kale, if confirmed by the Senate, would take over for Deborah Rosenblum, who has been performing the duties of the position. Taylor-Kale currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations as a fellow for innovation and economic competitiveness.

“I am deeply honored, humbled, and excited that President Biden intends to nominate me to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy,” Taylor-Kale said in a LinkedIn post following news of the nomination. “I look forward to working with the Senate on next steps in the confirmation process.”

In addition to her role on the Council on Foreign Relations, Taylor-Kale is in the process of completing her PhD in Organizations, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Additionally, Taylor-Kale has previously served at the United States Embassies in New Dehli, India, Cote d’Ivoire, and Afghanistan.

Taylor-Kale has also held roles at the World Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Department of Commerce. Taken together, her career has given her broad experience not only with trade and the Federal government but also with manufacturing and technology matters. All of these should give her a broad knowledge base to pull from when dealing with the Defense Industrial Base.

The office that Taylor-Kale would run, if confirmed, is aligned under the Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD A&S). A February reorganization put the Department of Defense (DoD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program under the Office of the CIO, rather than under OUSD A&S. According to a DoD spokesperson, Taylor-Kale’s office would largely be responsible for supporting small businesses and the CMMC program.

“CMMC will be implemented through contracts and acquisitions, so a close partnership with OUSD A&S will be critical to the program’s success,” a DoD spokesperson told MeriTalk May 18. “The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy is our partner in ensuring the cybersecurity of the DIB. The office is responsible for overseeing the Office of Small Business Programs that assists small businesses in implementing the NIST SP 800-171 requirements.”

The CMMC program is currently being overseen by Stacy Bostjanick, who is the Chief of Implementation and Policy in the Office of the CIO. Bostjanick and her team are currently aligned under the Deputy CIO for Cybersecurity David McKeown and are handling the rulemaking process for CMMC 2.0.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.