UPDATED: White House Taps Carlos Del Toro as SECNAV Nominee

June 11, 2021 9:09 AM - Updated: June 11, 2021 11:44 AM

This post has been updated with a confirmation from a White House official of Carlos Del Toro’s nomination.

A former surface warfare commander and president of a small information technology firm is the Biden administration’s nominee for the long-vacant top job in the Department of the Navy, a White House official confirmed to USNI News on Friday.

The White House will formally announce Carlos Del Toro, a Cuban-born Naval Academy graduate, this afternoon as Biden’s pick in a package of administration nominees to be confirmed by the Senate.

Del Toro served in the Navy for 22 years, including as the commissioning commanding officer of USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) in 1998. He also served as a Navy civilian, with his final assignment as Senior Executive Assistant to the Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation. For the last 17 years, he’s been the chief executive of the Northern Virginia-based SBG Technology Solutions.

If confirmed, Del Toro will be the second Hispanic SECNAV following Eduardo Hidalgo, who served during the Carter administration.

Other names previously under consideration for the top DoN job included retired Adm. Michelle Howard, former assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs during the Obama administration Juan Garcia and former Nebraska senator and Navy SEAL Bob Kerrey.

Thomas Harker, who during the Trump administration was the assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller, has been serving in the top civilian role in an acting capacity since President Biden took office in January.

Biden’s announcement that Del Toro is his pick for Navy secretary comes as Congress reviews the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2022 request, which the administration submitted at the end of May. For its part, the Navy faces several budget hurdles during this cycle. Due to fiscal constraints, the Navy cut one of two destroyers from the request, a move that has already angered lawmakers.

Del Toro is the last of the three service secretaries the Biden administration has announced for the positions. On April 12, the White House disclosed plans to nominate Christine Wormuth to serve as the Army’s top civilian. The Senate confirmed her to the post on May 27.

On April 27, the White House said it would tap Frank Kendall, who served in the Pentagon during the Obama administration, for Air Force secretary. The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved Kendall’s nomination, which now awaits a vote on the Senate floor.

The Trump administration announced its plans to nominate Philip Bilden to serve as the Navy’s top civilian in January 2017, but Bilden withdrew his nomination about a month later due to financial conflicts. The administration ultimately nominated Richard Spencer, a former Marine aviator, for Navy secretary. The Trump White House announced Spencer as its pick for the job in June 2017.

The Obama administration announced that it would nominate Ray Mabus to serve as the Navy’s top civilian secretary in March 2009. Mabus was former President Barack Obama’s only Navy secretary.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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