What You Need to Know: Patrick Shanahan

Who is Patrick Shanahan, ex-Boeing executive and former defense secretary nominee?

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By June, Shanahan withdrew his nomination and resigned as Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Here are a few things to know about Shanahan:

He was a Boeing executive.

Before being appointed deputy secretary of defense in 2017, Shanahan spent more than 30 years at Boeing, which The New York Times reported is the No. 2 military contractor, after Lockheed Martin. 

According to his biography on the Department of Defense website, he joined the company in 1986. He was previously senior vice president of supply chain and operations, senior vice president of commercial airplane programs, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner, vice president and general manager of Boeing missile defense systems and as vice president and general manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

Patrick M. Shanahan, Deputy Secretary of Defense, poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, July 19, 2017.
Photo: U.S. Army/Monica King/U.S. Army Photo by Monica A. Kin

He is a Washington state native.

Born in Washington state, Shanahan attended the University of Washington, where he got a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He served on the university’s board of regents from 2012 to 2017. 

He holds two advanced degrees.

Shanahan has a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Master of Business Administration from the MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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