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Top Defense Dept. adviser resigns

Dec. 13, 2011 at 3:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Michele Flournoy, one of the highest-ranking women in the history of the Pentagon, says she plans to resign to spend more time with her three children.

The announcement came as a surprise to friends and Pentagon officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Flournoy, 50, is the undersecretary of defense for policy and was a close adviser to previous defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. She is well-liked and respected in the Pentagon and has been seen a possible future candidate for defense secretary, the newspaper said.

Flournoy is married to W. Scott Gould, a top naval officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The couple has three children ages 14, 12 and 9.

The newspaper said Flournoy often worked more than 12 hours a day, plus many weekends, which is a typical schedule for a top Defense Department official.

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