U.S. President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations for National Security

The White House

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Defense, and Department of State.

  • Stacey Dixon for Principal Deputy Director, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Ely Ratner for Assistant Secretary of Defense, Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Department of Defense
  • Rena Bitter for Assistant Secretary of State, Consular Affairs, Department of State

Stacey Dixon, Nominee for Principal Deputy Director, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Dr. Stacey A. Dixon became the eighth Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on July 1, 2019. In this role, she assisted the director both in leading the agency and in managing the National System for Geospatial Intelligence. From 2018 to 2019, she served as the fourth director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), after serving as its deputy director from 2016 to 2018. Before joining IARPA, Dr. Dixon served as the deputy director of NGA’s research directorate, where she oversaw geospatial intelligence research and development. Prior to that, she served as NGA’s chief of congressional and intergovernmental affairs, and then deputy director of NGA’s corporate communications office. From 2007 to 2010, she was a staff member for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and from 2003 to 2007, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, where she was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office’s advanced systems and technology directorate.

Dr. Dixon holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. She was also a chemical engineering postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. She additionally serves as a presidentially nominated member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, an appointed NGA Liaison to the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Board of Directors, and an appointed NGA Liaison to the Spelman College Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM (COE-MWS) Leadership Advisory Board. Dr. Dixon is a native of the District of Columbia, where she currently resides.

Ely Ratner, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense, Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Department of Defense

Ely Ratner is currently a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and director of the Department’s China Task Force. From 2015 to 2017, Dr. Ratner served as the Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and from 2011 to 2012 in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian affairs at the State Department. He also previously worked in the U.S. Senate as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the office of Senator Joe Biden.

Outside of government, Ratner has worked as the executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and as an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Ratner received his B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Rena Bitter, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State, Consular Affairs, Department of State

Rena Bitter, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Previously, she was the U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and chief of the consular section in Amman, Jordan. She also served in London, Bogota, and Mexico City. In Washington, she was Director of the State Department’s Operations Center, and a Special Assistant to the Secretary of State. Bitter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University. She is a recipient of American Citizens Abroad’s Thomas Jefferson Award for outstanding service to the American community abroad. She speaks Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.

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