Home » News & Analysis » Sources: Former Marine, Banker Richard V. Spencer Top Pick for SECNAV

Sources: Former Marine, Banker Richard V. Spencer Top Pick for SECNAV

Flag of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy

A former Marine aviator and investment banker is the top pick to be the next nominee for Secretary of the Navy, three defense officials familiar with the decision confirmed to USNI News today.

Richard V. Spencer is set to be nominated for the top civilian job leading the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps, in a decision endorsed by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the officials confirmed.

Spencer’s expected nomination is the second for the position, after financier Philip Bilden declined the nomination last month over the financial divestitures he would have had to make to serve in the position.

Newswire Bloomberg reported Trump offered Spencer the job on Thursday.

Richard V. Spencer. CNAS Photo

Spencer, who lives in Wyoming, served as Marine aviator from 1976, after graduating from Rollins College, until 1981, according to a bio on the website of the Center for New American Security, where he serves on their advisory board. He left the service as a Captain in 1981. Spencer served as the chief financial officer and vice chairman of the electronic commodities futures exchange Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. until 2008. He’s currently the managing director of Fall Creek Management, LLC.

In December Spencer was appointed to be an executive advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations, a Navy official told USNI News. In that role, he advises CNO on future warfare and how to reach out to technology business leaders.

“Spencer is an impressive personality, knows defense issues very well, and has a strong reputation as a leader and a manager,” CNAS executive vice president Shawn Brimley told USNI News on Thursday.
“He would be a strong candidate for any number of Pentagon positions.”

Spencer also served on the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board from 2009 to 2015 and on the CNO’s Executive Panel.

Also under consideration for the position was former congressman Randy Forbes, who met with Mattis this week to discuss the position at the behest of Vice President Mike Pence, two administration officials familiar with the meeting told USNI News.

  • Ron Snyder

    It appears that Forbes is not on the right side of Mattis for some reason.

    • muzzleloader

      Which is unfortunate. Forbes IMHO seemed ideal for the job.

  • Republican Yankee

    I wish it was Richard B. Spencer!

    • He would do a better job.

    • Jay

      Not enough white boys to have a military though. Plenty of white chicken hawks like you though.

      • Republican Yankee

        The military rank and file is and has historically been overwhelmingly white, male and southern.

  • Rocco

    Probably a Phantom pilot!!

  • Joe Shmoe

    Hopefully the next SECNAV will not try to promote substantiated whistleblower retaliator’s (i.e. Losey) like the previous SECNAV.

  • C.E.Rice

    Anybody but Mabus.

  • The Plague

    “he advises CNO on future warfare and how to reach out to technology business leaders.” – anybody know specifics about his views? Otherwise he should be a good candidate, he’s at least actually served in the “problem domain”.

  • RDF

    round peg, round hole.

  • Ray Dieckman USMC

    Fantastic individual ,will do well in tis position !

  • Samuel Clemens

    Oh yeah, yet another guy who makes money from making money. Great war profiteer – has the essential knowledge for the Trump Era: how to spread the loot. Can’t they find anyone who actually knows the field. I don’t mean a marine fly boy from eons ago…

    • Unanimous Consent

      Intercontinental Exchange has absolutely nothing to do with the defense industry. He’s not a contractor, and his Management consulting company has a focus on education.

      He may have been on an advisory board, the Defense Business Board, but he makes no money from that.

      You comments are pure calumny.

      • Samuel Clemens

        “May have been”…Ivanka Trump finds ways of making money from government position and influence without being paid officially. Want to toss accusations of slander around loosely about that too? Electronics Commodities hardly influenced by war spending, huh? And lets have full disclosure of Fall Creek Management LLC. What does making money off money have to do with running a military? What kind of international relations, diplomacy, strategy and military technology does that provide? It does the serve the ultra wealthy and political oligarchs, insiders, and the economic power establishment. Yeah, we don’t have enough of that in this regime. But to point that out, why that would be slander too, one might guess. Enough with the mock outrage while this country is sold off, piece by piece by the super wealthy establishment.

        • Unanimous Consent

          Do you even know what an advisory board is? It is uncompensated, fully open to the sunshine laws, and usually costs the member miney, if not their business too.

          You are an idiot.

          • Samuel Clemens

            Well, idiot, I know a pay off when I see one. It takes forever for outsiders to get trademarks and patents in China, if ever. But she gets one the very day she meet the head of the Communist Party of China for a “State visit.” Nobody makes big money in China without connections to the ruling party. Ivanka too. Too bad she sold out her own country to get it. Now tell me about not “being paid” again.

  • old guy

    Appears to be an excellent choice. A savvy guy with financial credentials is a sharp choice. Nay you have “Fair winds and Following Seas. Since you’re a flyboy, we wish you CAVU

  • OddMan

    While I appreciate that Mr Spencer has served his country, that was 35 years ago, his experience is as a manager for a company that does ‘enhancement of private companies through capital investment and advice.’ He is a capital and private equity fund investment manager.
    I want more than good skills in investing in the “electronic commodity futures exchange” in the SecNav position.