President Donald Trump announced on Sunday he would replace Defense Secretary James Mattis at the start of the new year, two months earlier than Mattis’ planned departure.
Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, Trump’s choice to replace Mattis on an interim basis. Shanahan’s portfolio at the Department of Defense has been narrow; he has almost exclusively handled budget issues, internal reform and the Space Force.
His official biography from the Defense Department notes Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986 and stayed with the major defense contractor for more than three decades. He received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and two higher degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his biography.