New Homeland Security chief named

2013-12-17 10:51
Jeh Johnson, head of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP)

Jeh Johnson, head of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The US Senate on Monday easily confirmed Jeh Johnson, a former top Pentagon lawyer, to be the next head of the Department of Homeland Security.

Johnson will be the first African-American to lead the huge department, and only the fourth person to head DHS since it was created by then-president George W Bush in 2002, one year after the 9/11 attacks.

Johnson won confirmation 78-16. He could be sworn in as early as this week in order to begin immediately tackling some departmental priorities including stiffening border security, upgrading airport protections and improving immigration enforcement operations.

"In Jeh, our dedicated homeland security professionals will have a strong leader with a deep understanding of the threats we face and a proven ability to work across agencies and complex organisations to keep America secure," President Barack Obama said in a statement praising the bipartisan vote.

"As secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh will play a leading role in our efforts to protect the homeland against terrorist attacks, adapt to changing threats, stay prepared for natural disasters, strengthen our border security, and make our immigration system fairer."

As the Pentagon's top lawyer, Johnson was responsible for a prior legal review of every military operation ordered by the president or the defence secretary.

In October, when he announced his nomination, Obama said Johnson was an "absolutely critical" member of his national security team and had been at the heart of many of the policies that have kept America safe.

Johnson oversaw a legal team of thousands at the Pentagon. He also served for two years as an assistant US attorney, and had the backing of previous DHS secretaries Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano, who left the position earlier this year.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who opposed the confirmation, said it was vital to bring in a seasoned manager and national security expert to bring swift and credible order to the agency, but that Johnson "doesn't come close" to meeting that challenge.

DHS is an amalgamation of 22 separate agencies with 240,000 employees, and critics have argued that the department is in disarray.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.