World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Article Id: WHEBN0000212926
Reproduction Date:

Title: United States Secretary of Homeland Security  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: United States Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, Tom Ridge, United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Cabinet of the United States
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States of America
Flag of the Department of Homeland Security
Seal of the Department of Homeland Security
Jeh Johnson

since December 16, 2013
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 6 U.S.C. § 112
Formation January 24, 2003
First holder Tom Ridge
Succession Seventeenth in the United States Presidential Line of Succession
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1
Website .gov.dhswww

The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the U.S. and the safety of U.S. citizens. The secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the Homeland Security Act following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The new department consisted primarily of components transferred from other cabinet departments because of their role in homeland security, such as the Coast Guard, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It did not, however, include the FBI or the CIA.[1]

On January 20, 2009, the Senate confirmed Barack Obama's appointment of Janet Napolitano to be the third Secretary of Homeland Security,[2] effective January 21, 2009.[3] Napolitano resigned effective August 2013 to head the University of California. On October 17, President Obama announced his intention to nominate former Pentagon official Jeh Johnson, and on December 16 the US Senate confirmed the nomination.[4]

Inclusion in the presidential line of succession

Traditionally, the order of the presidential line of succession is determined (after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President pro tempore of the Senate) by the order of the creation of the cabinet positions, and the list as mandated under 3 U.S.C. § 19 follows this tradition.

On March 9, 2006, 43rd President Patriot Act of 2001 and amended the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 to include the newly created Presidential Cabinet position of Secretary of Homeland Security in the line of succession after the previously authorized Secretary of Veterans Affairs (§ 503) (which are listed and designated in the order that their departments were created). In the 109th Congress, legislation was introduced to place the Secretary of Homeland Security into the line of succession after the Attorney General but that bill expired at the end of the 109th Congress and was not re-introduced.

List of Secretaries of Homeland Security

Prior to the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, there existed an Assistant to the President for the Office of Homeland Security, which was created following the September 11, 2001, attacks.


      Republican       Democratic       No party

  Denotes acting Secretary of Homeland Security
No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
1 Tom Ridge Tom Ridge Pennsylvania January 24, 2003 February 1, 2005 George W. Bush
James Loy[1]
Pennsylvania February 1, 2005 February 15, 2005
2 Michael Chertoff New Jersey February 15, 2005 January 21, 2009
3 Janet Napolitano Arizona January 21, 2009 September 6, 2013 Barack Obama
3 Rand Beers
District of Columbia September 6, 2013 December 16, 2013
4 Jeh Johnson New Jersey December 23, 2013 Present

1 James Loy served as acting secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security February 1—February 15, 2005.

2 Rand Beers served as acting secretary in his capacity as confirmed Undersecretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs and Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; Beers was the highest ranking Senate-approved presidential appointee at the Department of Homeland Security from September 6, 2013 to December 23, 2013.

Living former Secretaries of Homeland Security

As of October 2014, there are three living former Secretaries of Homeland Security, the oldest being Tom Ridge (2003-2005, born 1945).

Name Term of office Date of birth
Tom Ridge 2003–2005 (1945-08-26) August 26, 1945
Michael Chertoff 2005–2009 (1953-11-28) November 28, 1953
Janet Napolitano 2009–2013 (1957-11-29) November 29, 1957

Order of succession

The order of succession for the Secretary of Homeland Security is as follows:[5]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
  2. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
  3. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management
  4. Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Policy (acting as Under Secretary-equivalent)
  5. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology
  6. General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security
  7. Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration
  8. Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  9. Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  10. Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  11. Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  12. Chief Financial Officer
  13. Regional Administrator, Region V, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  14. Regional Administrator, Region VI, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  15. Regional Administrator, Region VII, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  16. Regional Administrator, Region IX, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  17. Regional Administrator, Region I, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Administration-cited potential nominees

Bernard Kerik

Bernard Kerik for the position in 2004. However a week later, Kerik withdrew his nomination, explaining that he had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.

Raymond Kelly

By July 2013, Raymond Kelly had served as Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for nearly 12 straight years. Within days of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's announcement that she was resigning, Kelly was soon cited as an obvious potential successor by New York Senator Charles Schumer and others.[6] During a July 16, 2013 interview, President Obama referred generally to the "bunch of strong candidates" for nomination to head the Department of Homeland Security, but singled out Kelly as "one of the best there is" and "very well qualified for the job".[7]

Later in July 2013, the online internet news website/magazine "Huffington Post" detailed "a growing campaign to quash the potential nomination of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security" amid claims of "divisive, harmful, and ineffective policing that promotes stereotypes and profiling".[8] Days after that article, Kelly penned a statistics-heavy "Wall Street Journal" opinion article defending the NYPD's programs, stating "the average number of stops we conduct is less than one per officer per week" and that this and other practices have led to "7,383 lives saved—and...they are largely the lives of young men of color."[9]

Kelly was also featured because of his NYPD retirement and unusually long tenure there in a long segment on the CBS News program "Sunday Morning" in December 2013, especially raising the question of the controversial "stop and frisk" policy in New York City and the long decline and drop of various types of crimes committed..

Jeh Johnson

On October 17, 2013, several sources reported that President Obama will nominate Jeh Johnson to be United States Secretary of Homeland Security. The Washington Post reported "Johnson, an African-American, would bring further racial diversity to Obama's Cabinet. The first black U.S. president has been criticized for having a high number of white men in top Cabinet roles."[10]


  1. ^ Homeland Security Act, Pub.L. 107–296
  2. ^ Murray, Shailagh; Kane, Paul (January 21, 2009). "Obama Picks Confirmed, But Clinton Is on Hold".  
  3. ^ Chertoff: Inauguration security forces 'ready' -
  4. ^ Senate confirms new homeland security secretary
  5. ^ "Executive Order 13442: Amending the Order of Succession in the Department of Homeland Security". Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  6. ^ "Names already popping as possible Janet Napolitano replacements" By KEVIN ROBILLARD and SCOTT WONG, Politico', July 12, 2013, Retrieved 2013-07-13
  7. ^ "Obama would consider Ray Kelly to replace Janet Napolitano" By JENNIFER EPSTEIN, "Politico", July 16, 2013, Retrieved 2013-07-17
  8. ^ "Muslims Oppose Raymond Kelly Bid For Homeland Security Secretary" By Omar Sacirbey, "Huffington Post", August 1, 2013, Retrieved 2013-08-04
  9. ^ "Ray Kelly: The NYPD: Guilty of Saving 7,383 Lives" by Ray Kelly, "Opinion: The Wall Street Journal", July 22, 2013, Retrieved 2013-08-04
  10. ^ "Obama picks attorney Jeh Johnson for Homeland Security chief" by Jeff Mason, Washington Post, October 17, 2013|, Retrieved 2013-10-18
United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Robert McDonald
18th in line Last
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.