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Director of Perry World House Michael C. Horowitz has become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Development and Emerging Capabilities (Photo from Perry World House).

Director of Perry World House Michael Horowitz is now the United States Department of Defense’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development and emerging capabilities.

Horowitz, who is currently on leave from his position as director and Richard Perry Professor of Political Science, announced his new role in a July 11 tweet

The Force Development and Emerging Capabilities Office is a new DoD office that focuses on U.S. national defense strategy and policies relating to the use of emerging technology. It assesses how new technologies, including artificial intelligence and biotechnology, are shaping the security environment and the character of warfare while utilizing that information to determine how to best deter conflict.

Horowitz joined the DoD in April 2022 as director of the formerly existing Emerging Capabilities Policy Office. The office was new when he took on the position, and has since combined with the pre-existing Force Development Office, resulting in his change in job title. 

“[The merge] is a reflection of the importance of emerging capabilities for the future of the Department of Defense and the way that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is thinking through the best ways to implement the national defense strategy,” Horowitz told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Horowitz’s responsibilities include leading and advising senior policy leaders on the development and issuing of force planning. He also implements new technologies into the department’s defense, according to the office’s website.

When reflecting on his government service over the past year, Horowitz emphasized that he has worked closely with colleagues in the DoD, U.S. Department of State, and National Security Council, as well as representatives from other countries.

“We face enormous challenges: The national defense strategy describes the pacing challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China, the threat posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and many other things,” Horowitz said. “The time I spent at Perry World House has been absolutely critical in preparing me for the role I have in government now.” 

The new position marks Horowitz’s second time serving in the DoD. He also took a leave of absence from Penn in 2013 to be a Council of Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow in the Emerging Capabilities Policy Office. The issues he focused on during the fellowship included budget cuts, weapon selection, and drone government policy. He also contributed to the Quadrennial Defense Review, a mandated review of the DoD’s strategies and priorities conducted every four years.

“The learning curve was very different,” Horowitz said when comparing his roles. “[It] was still steep this time, but I had a better sense of what I was getting into. It’s mostly just a difference in perspective from being in a different career spot.”

When his term of service ends, Horowitz plans to return back to Penn. 

“I’m really excited to bring lessons learned from my government service into the Pentagon in a way that hopefully will benefit Penn faculty and Penn students in the community,” he said.