One of the most important positions in America’s homeland security roster may not be vacant much longer. It has already been more than a month since former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down to become University of California president. After a lot of speculation, word leaked today that the Obama Administration has finally picked a replacement – former top Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson. The President will announce his decision at a White House ceremony tomorrow, according to The Daily Beast and other news outlets.
While not one of the names mentioned during the flurry of speculation since Napolitano announced her resignation, Johnson nevertheless has a remarkable list of counterterrorism experiences with the Obama Administration. From secret drone wars to the legality of terrorist kill lists, Johnson’s Senate confirmation hearings are sure to be fascinating, not just for learning about his aptitude for one of the toughest jobs in Washington, but also because of what his past experiences might tell the country about the future of homeland security. If confirmed, Johnson will become the fourth DHS Secretary.
Check back with Security Debrief in the coming days and weeks for more on Johnson and his confirmation hearings.