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William J. Lynn III is the United Statesmarker Deputy Secretary of Defense. Before that he was Under Secretary of Defense and a lobbyist for Raytheon.


Lynn graduated from Dartmouth Collegemarker in 1976, and later studied at Cornell Law School to receive his law degree in 1980 and graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton Universitymarker in 1982 with an M.A. in public affairs. After this he was employed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he was the executive director of the Defense Organization Project from 1982 to 1985. That last year he published the book Toward a More Effective Defense. At some point in time he was a senior fellow studying strategic nuclear forces and arms control at the National Defense Universitymarker's Strategic Concepts Development Center, and went on to be the legislative counsel for defense and arms control matters for Massachusettsmarker Senator Edward Kennedy between 1987 and 1993. During this time he also worked as Kennedy's staff representative on the Committee on Armed Services.
Lynn as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

Lynn later worked as an assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Budget, and in April 1993 joined the office of the Secretary of Defense (then Les Aspin) to be director for program analysis and evaluation. On October 21, 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Lynn to be Under Secretary of Defense , and after a Senate confirmation on November 13, he was officially sworn in on November 19.

After leaving at the end of the Clinton Presidency, Lynn became the executive vice president of the management consulting firm DFI International in 2001, but left in August 2002 when he was hired by the Raytheon Company, where he held the title senior vice president of Government Operations and Strategy.

Deputy Secretary of Defense nomination

Lynn being sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Defense, accompanied by his wife.
On January 8, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama nominated Lynn as his Deputy Secretary of Defense. This was complicated by the fact that new ethic rules promulgated by Obama for members of his administration create a waiting period of two years between lobbying activities and working for the administration on the same issues, which Lynn's work with Raytheon violated. President Obama waived the new rules for Lynn, which received criticism from John McCain as well as outside groups such as the Project on Government Oversight, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Government Accountability Project, and Public Citizen. McCain later said that the nomination should probably move forward. As nominee, Lynn agreed to sell his holdings of Raytheon stock. Lynn's appointment was approved by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on February 5, 2009 by unanimous consent. On February 11, 2009, Lynn was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 93–4. He took the oath of office on February 12.


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