In a press release published on Friday, April 23, 2021 the White House announced that it was nominating Christopher Maier, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, for the position of ASD SO/LIC.
Among his responsibilities as ASD SO/LIC will be special operations, irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and information operations policies. The ASD SO/LIC has administrative oversight for much of the activities of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). In November 2020, the Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller (a former Special Forces officer) signed a memorandum that designating the ASD SO/LIC as a principal staff assistant reporting directly to the SECDEF and Deputy SECDEF. The memo also removed ASD SO/LIC from the Officer of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
Maier brings a wealth of experience to the office. He has previously served as the head of the DoD’s Defeat-ISIS Task Force, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism, held positions at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and served on the National Security Council (NSC) staff as director for counterterrorism. He began his career as an analyst on Africa and the Middle East. He currently is an officer in the Air National Guard.
Read the White House Announcement on the Maier nomination:
“Christopher P. Maier has served in national security roles across five Presidential Administrations and is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. In this role, he advises the Secretary of Defense on all special operations, irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and information operations policy issues, and oversees all special operations administrative matters. Maier previously led the Defeat-ISIS Task Force charged with integrating Department of Defense efforts in the campaign to achieve the enduring defeat of ISIS. Maier was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism in the Obama-Biden Administration.
Before moving to the Department of Defense, he held a variety of leadership and staff positions at the National Counterterrorism Center, focused on planning and analysis. Maier was detailed from 2009 to 2013 to the National Security Council staff, where he authored the 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism. He began his government career as an intelligence analyst on Middle East and Africa issues. He continues to serve as an officer in the Air National Guard. Originally from California, Maier earned degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.”
“President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations in National Security”, The White House, April 23, 2021.