By Emelie Rutherford

Raymond Mabus, a former Mississippi governor and manufacturing executive, will be the next Navy secretary.

The Senate on Monday night voted in favor of confirming Mabus, whom President Obama nominated, to succeed Donald Winter as the Navy’s top civilian leader.

Mabus was sworn in yesterday, the Defense Department said in a press release last night.

The confirmation was approved in the Senate by unanimous consent along with five other Pentagon nominations, a maneuver that did not require a roll-call vote.

Mabus served as Mississippi governor from 1988 to 1992, ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994 to 1996, and chairman and chief executive officer of manufacturing firm Foamex from 2006 to 2007.

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) approved Mabus’ confirmation on May 14, after weighing his nomination on April 28 during a largely non-confrontational hearing.

SASC Seapower Ranking Member Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), though, was initially concerned about Mabus’ confirmation, saying he was not satisfied during the confirmation hearing on the nominee’s answers to questions on the Pentagon review of the Navy’s decision to homeport a nuclear carrier in Mayport, Fla.

At the hearing, Mabus was introduced by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), SASC member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). Rep. Gene Taylor (D- Miss.), chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee, also attended in support of Mabus.

Mabus at the time warned the "acquisition process has to be gotten under control or we’re going to unilaterally disarm ourselves," and called for more stability of requirements in Navy shipbuilding programs (Defense Daily, April 19).

Winter, the Navy secretary in the Bush administration, left office on March 13.

The Senate on Monday also voted to confirm Robert Work to be Navy undersecretary.

Work has been the vice president of strategic studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He previously served for 27 years in the Marine Corps, where his last assignment was military assistant and senior aide to former Clinton administration Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.

The Navy undersecretary position has been vacant since the departure of Dino Aviles in December 2006. Work will be the first undersecretary who concurrently serves as chief management officer.