Top Af-Pak official David Sedney leaving Pentagon

The Pentagon's senior policy official on Afghanistan and Pakistan is leaving his post at the end of this month.

David Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, will quit the Pentagon effective May 31, the E-Ring has confirmed. Sedney's successor will be Navy Reserve Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, who currently serves as chief of staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and deputy chief of staff for strategy, resources, and plans at the same command. DOD policy denizen Jennifer Walsh will fill the seat in the short interim.

Dumont has extensive Af-Pak experience. He was chief of staff of the Office of the U.S. Defense Representative to Pakistan (ODRP) and then served as deputy chief of staff for stability operations at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command.

Sedney is one of the longest serving DASDs in the Pentagon's policy team and has become a regular sidekick to defense secretaries and top officials traveling through Afghanistan and the region. Previously he was the DASD for East Asia, from 2007 to 2009. In Kabul, Sedney has served as both deputy chief of mission and charge d'affaires at the United States Embassy from 2003-2004. 

Besides Princeton, Sedney also gradated from the National War College and is most likely the only person in the Pentagon -- if not the country -- who speaks Romanian, Mandarin Chinese and Azerbaijani.

"David is a national treasure in the Washington policy community," said Pentagon press secretary George Little, "and has served in an exceptional manner as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He's held prior stints in China, Romania, Azerbaijian, and Taiwan. He'll be missed by his colleagues here and his counterparts overseas.  In particular, when it comes to Afghanistan, I've personally heard him say that our troops always come first."

  Correction: This post originally misspelled Michael Dumont's last name.

DOD photo