The Defense Department on Thursday confirmed that its top Asia policy official is resigning.
Top Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver “is planning on leaving the department” after being in the role since January 2018.
Hoffman did not say why Schriver was leaving the job, only suggesting that “he has a young family,” and the role often requires long international flights that become an undue stress.
“He has been here for two years in a very intense role … given the demands of the job, it requires a significant amount of international travel,” Hoffman said. “Going back and forth to Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Australia, China on a near biweekly basis takes a toll on a family, and so Randy is looking to move on to another position.”
Hoffman also said Schriver’s expertise in the Indo-Pacific region “is unmatched in the department.”
A former Navy intelligence officer, Schriver had been generally liked among partner countries in the region, was known as a China hawk and was in charge of streamlining the Pentagon’s Pacific policy team. He also set up a deputy assistant secretary of Defense (DASD) office for China as the Trump administration puts more focus into competing with Beijing.
Schriver’s resignation will add another hole to the Pentagon’s policy team, with six of the 21 DASD positions still unfilled.