Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced the appointment of Paul M. Lewis as special envoy for the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The announcement reflects the Defense Department’s commitment to implementing President Barack Obama’s directive to close the facility, Pentagon officials said.
Lewis brings experience from his previous position as the minority general counsel of the House Armed Services Committee, where he oversaw Guantanamo-related issues, officials said. In addition to facilitating transfer determinations for Guantanamo detainees, he will oversee efforts to transfer third-country nationals currently being held by the United States in Afghanistan, they added.
He also has served as the general counsel for the House Armed Services Committee, and previously served in the Office of Legislative Counsel in the Defense Department general counsel’s office, where he became the director. Before his Defense Department appointment, he was the counsel to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee and a senior counsel for the House Armed Services Committee.
Lewis will begin his work at the Pentagon on Nov. 1.