Secretary of Defense appoints Admiral Houck to Sexual Assault Response Panel

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has appointed Admiral (ret.) James W. Houck, distinguished scholar in residence at Penn State Law and School of International Affairs, to a Congressionally-mandated panel charged with conducting an independent review of Department of Defense systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate allegations of sexual assault in the military. Other members of the nine-person panel include former U.S. Representative Elizabeth Holtzman and former U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones.

The appointment comes in the wake of several high profile sexual assault cases and new information that the problem of sexual assault within military ranks may be increasing. The panel is tasked with providing an assessment of the effectiveness of existing processes to Congress and the Secretary of Defense.

Admiral Houck served as the Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy until he retired in 2012 and joined the faculty Penn State.