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David Norquist

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David Norquist
Official portrait, 2019
United States Secretary of Defense
January 20, 2021 – January 22, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byChristopher C. Miller (acting)
Succeeded byLloyd Austin
34th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
In office
July 31, 2019 – February 8, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byPatrick Shanahan
Succeeded byKathleen Hicks
January 1, 2019 – July 23, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byPatrick Shanahan
Succeeded byRichard V. Spencer (acting)
Comptroller of the Department of Defense
In office
June 2, 2017 – July 31, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJohn P. Roth (acting)
Succeeded byElaine McCusker (acting)
Chief Financial Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security
In office
June 1, 2006 – December 1, 2008
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byAndrew Maner[1]
Succeeded byMargaret Sherry[2]
Personal details
Born (1966-11-24) November 24, 1966 (age 57)
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
RelativesGrover Norquist (brother)
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BA, MPP)
Georgetown University (MA)

David Lutz Norquist (born November 24, 1966)[3] is an American financial management professional and former government official who served as the 34th United States deputy secretary of defense from 2019 to 2021. In May of 2022, Norquist was selected as the president and chief executive officer of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Norquist graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Public Policy in 1989. In 1995, he received a master's degree in national security studies from Georgetown University.[5] He is the brother of lobbyist Grover Norquist.[6]


Norquist began his career in 1989 as a Presidential Management Fellow and GS-9 Program Budget Analyst, a federal civil servant position for the Department of the Army; he served in that position for four years.[5][7] From 1993 to 1995, he was a budget analyst in the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command.[5] Norquist was Director of Resource Management at Menwith Hill Station in Harrogate, United Kingdom for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1995 to 1996.[5] For six years, between 1997 and 2002, Norquist worked as a staffer on the Subcommittee on Defense for the House Appropriations Committee.[8] Between 2002 and 2006, he was Deputy Undersecretary of Defense in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller of the Department of Defense.[5][7]

In 2006, Norquist was selected by President George W. Bush to be Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He served in this position from June 1, 2006 to December 1, 2008.[9][10] As the first person to be confirmed by the Senate for that position, he took steps to address widespread problems with DHS's financial statements.[11]

In 2008, Norquist joined Kearney & Company, a certified public accounting firm, as a partner.[12]

On March 20, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Norquist to be Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer in the Department of Defense.[7] He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2017 by unanimous consent[13] and began serving on June 2, 2017.[14] As Comptroller, he oversaw DoD's first-ever department-wide audit of $2.7 trillion in assets, which involved over 1,000 outside auditors and discovered "major flaws" but no "major cases of fraud or abuse."[15]

Deputy Secretary of Defense[edit]

Following the December 2018 resignation of Jim Mattis as secretary of defense, deputy secretary Patrick Shanahan was made the acting secretary of defense and Norquist was made acting deputy secretary.[16] He served as acting deputy for several months before being formally nominated for the position. After Shanahan suddenly resigned on June 18, 2019, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Army secretary Mark Esper to be defense secretary.[17] On June 21, the president announced his intention to nominate Norquist to be deputy secretary. His nomination was sent to the Senate on July 23, and he was confirmed by voice vote on July 30, 2019, after having acted in the role for nearly seven months.[18]

Norquist pledged to shake up the defense budget and to place a high priority on funding research and development of cutting-edge technologies such as hypersonics and artificial intelligence.[19] On August 2, 2019, he signed a memo to department leaders ordering a comprehensive, "zero-based" program and budget review for 2021 to 2025.[20]

Acting Secretary of Defense[edit]

Norquist became the acting secretary of defense on January 20, 2021, and served in that role until Lloyd Austin, the Biden administration's nominee, was confirmed by the Senate on January 22.[21][22][23][24]

Personal life[edit]

Norquist and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.[5] He is the younger brother of Grover Norquist,[25] founder of Americans for Tax Reform.



  1. ^ "PN1176 - Nomination of David L. Norquist for Department of Homeland Security, 109th Congress (2005-2006)". www.congress.gov. May 26, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "PN1125 - Nomination of Margaret Ann Sherry for Department of Homeland Security, 112th Congress (2011-2012)". www.congress.gov. March 29, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "David L. Norquist".
  4. ^ "NDIA Names Former Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist its New President and CEO".
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Nomination of David L. Norquist". www.congress.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "New homeland CFO faces tough challenge". UPI. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Trump to Nominate Kearney & Co. Partner David Norquist as DoD Comptroller". Executive Gov. Archived from the original on April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Trump just nominated several people for top Pentagon jobs". Business Insider. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "David Norquist - C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Department of Homeland Security Purchase Cards: Credit Without Accountability". www.gpo.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov (Press release). March 16, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via National Archives.
  12. ^ "Trump Picks Boeing Executive Shanahan to Become Pentagon's No. 2". Fox Business. March 3, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Mehta, Aaron; Gould, Joe (May 25, 2017). "Senate confirms three appointees to Pentagon". Defense News. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Department of Defense Key Officials September 1947–February 2019" (PDF). history.defense.gov. Historical Office Office of the Secretary of Defense. January 30, 2019. pp. 9, 10, 13, and 41. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Mehta, Aaron (November 16, 2018). "Here's what the Pentagon's first-ever audit found". Defense News. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Mehta, Aaron (January 2, 2019). "Pentagon comptroller to serve as acting deputy defense secretary". Defense News. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  17. ^ Shear, Michael D.; Cooper, Helene (June 18, 2019). "Shanahan Withdraws as Defense Secretary Nominee, and Mark Esper Is Named Acting Pentagon Chief". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  18. ^ Senate Considers Norquist for DOD Deputy
  19. ^ McLeary, Paul (July 25, 2019). "Norquist Pledges To Shakeup Budget; Sharp Eye On R & D". Breaking Defense. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  20. ^ "Pentagon undergoing defense-wide review for inefficiencies". Federal News Network. August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Seligman, Lara (January 14, 2021). "Biden taps Trump appointee Norquist to be his temporary Defense secretary". Politico. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  22. ^ Mehta, Aaron (January 14, 2021). "Norquist to serve as acting defense secretary; acting service secretaries named". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  23. ^ Vella, Lauren (January 20, 2021). "Trump administration official Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief". The Hill. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  24. ^ Foran, Claire (January 22, 2021). "Senate confirms Lloyd Austin to be first Black defense secretary". CNN. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  25. ^ "New homeland CFO faces tough challenge". UPI. Retrieved April 10, 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by United States Deputy Secretary of Defense

Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Secretary of Defense

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