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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.