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Obama to replace Napolitano at DHS with former DoD general counsel, Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

President Obama is expected to announce the appointment of Jeh Johnson, a former general counsel of the Defense Department, as the fourth Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, replacing Janet Napolitano, who left DHS recently to head the University of California.

Johnson (his first name is pronounced “Jay”) has deep experience in the legal thinking that has underpinned the current Administration’s approach to fighting terrorism, but little direct experience in some of the hands-on nitty-gritty of issues that confront DHS, such as border security, critical infrastructure protection, immigration reform, and information-sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The 56-year-old attorney, who was a legal advisor to the president’s first presidential election campaign, is expected to be named at a ceremony this afternoon. His likely appointment was first reported by The Daily Beast.

If nominated and confirmed, Johnson would join the inner circle of the Administration’s national security team that would include an unprecedented number of African-Americans. In addition to the president himself, this inner circle would include the Attorney General, Eric Holder, Jr.; the National Security Advisor, Susan Rice; and Jeh Johnson, as the new chief at DHS.


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