Fifth Pentagon official announces resignation in seven days

The Defense Department’s senior adviser for international cooperation earlier this week left the Pentagon, marking the fifth top official in seven days to leave or announce their departure.

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, a longtime State Department official who began working in her Pentagon role in September 2018, resigned on Dec. 16, the Pentagon confirmed. Defense News first reported her departure.

“We appreciate her service to the department and wish her continued success. ... The department remains committed to the development and implementation of international cooperative programs and defense exportability efforts to foster cooperation with U.S. allies on research, development, production and support of weapons systems and related equipment,” a Department of Defense (DOD) spokesman said in a statement.

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“The department will not provide anything further on this personnel matter,” the spokesman added.

Michael Vaccaro, the director for international armaments cooperation, will serve as the acting senior adviser.

Kaidanow’s resignation follows four other announced departures within a week.

Those include the Dec. 12 notification that top Asia policy official Randall Schriver would leave after two years on the job, the Dec. 13 announcement that top official in charge of personnel and readiness Jimmy Stewart had resigned after taking the role in October 2018 the Tuesday report that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency leader Steven Walker will leave in January, and the news earlier Wednesday that Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Kari Bingen submitted her resignation on Dec. 5 and will leave Jan. 10.

Kaidanow worked under the Pentagon’s acquisition and sustainment office focusing on “the development and implementation of international cooperative programs” to bring “cooperation with U.S. allies on research, development, production and support of weapons systems and related equipment,” according to her DOD bio page.

She worked with top weapons buyer Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency to boost weapon sales with partner and ally countries.

Before that, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, working as the “principal liaison” with DOD  and managing “several critical components of U.S. foreign policy, including the maintenance of the State Department’s global security relationships.”

In addition, she served as ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, the deputy ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the first U.S. ambassador to Kosovo.