Biden Admin Names Wealthy Billionaire to Lead Military Board

Billionaire former presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has been nominated to lead Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Bloomberg, who ran against Joe Biden as a Democrat, has now been nominated by his former opponent to chair a military advisory board that is intended to provide the Department of Defense with expert recommendations on emerging technology that could benefit the military.

New chair for Pentagon board

Bloomberg has now become the latest of Biden’s former primary opponents to get a position in the administration, though his nomination comes much later than others.

Kamala Harris, of course, was chosen as Biden’s running mate after she dropped out of the race. Pete Buttigieg was made Secretary of Transportation, a position for which he had no apparent qualifications.

The billionaire former mayor might be an equally unexpected choice to lead a board concerned with the confluence of scientific and military advancements, but the White House claims that he is qualified.

Describing Bloomberg as “an entrepreneur and a leader” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that his business and government experience will make him ideal for the role.

The Defense Innovation Board was created in 2016 and has been populated by a collection of celebrity scientists and business leaders.

The board exists only to advise and make recommendations on emerging technology and innovation, rather than developing or implementing anything on its own initiative.

Nomination for another former Biden foe

The delay in Bloomberg being given his position under the Biden administration may have something to do with his 2020 campaign performance.

Bloomberg dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden, but only after performing poorly in a number of primaries and becoming the target of several sexual harassment allegations.

The former mayor is worth an estimated $70 billion and was able to pour much of his own money into his 2020 campaign, though it wasn’t enough to defeat Biden.

The nomination was technically the doing of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, but there may have been some sense of obligation to find a role for another former opponent.

Bloomberg responded to the nomination by saying that he will be honored to serve on the board and work with the Department of Defense.

He will replace Mark Sirangelo, who took over as chair of the board in 2020 following the departure of the first chair, Dr. Eric Schmidt.

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