DeLeon’s reputation as skilled, even-keeled and trusted administrator had many in Washington speculating he would leave the Center for American Progress to reprise his role as deputy defense secretary, this time with the Obama administration. DeLeon’s intimate knowledge of how Washington works from the standpoint ofa top Hill staffer as well as Air Force and Pentagon personnel chief, and DoD’s No. 2 civilian during the Clinton administration, has helped put CAP on the map and landed him a coveted seat on the key Defense Policy Board that advises Hagel (No. 3). Always courted for his views and discreet counsel, deLeon will play a key role in shaping — and selling — the administration’s drawdown plans. Especially key: deLeon’s role in shaping the Goldwater-Nichols legislation that fostered greater US military jointness, a landmark step that many argue needs further refining to even better integrate future operations.