The front runner in the search to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reportedly removed herself from consideration from the post.
Michele Flournoy, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security, announced in a Tuesday letter to the center’s board of directors that she would not be a candidate for the position, which could have made her the first woman to serve in the post.
“Last night I spoke with President Obama and removed myself from consideration due to family concerns,” the letter states. “After much agonizing, we decided that now was not the right time for me to reenter the government.”
Foreign Policy first reported on the letter.
Among the remaining contenders are current and former Hagel deputies Robert Ashton Carter. Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat and former officer with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, also made clear on Monday that he was not interested in the job.
Some have speculated as well that the Obama administration could be considering Rep. Adam Smith, Washington Democrat and the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, or retiring Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to take the job, according to a former official.