Obama Nomination: Jeh Johnson Could Become First Black to Head Dept. of Homeland Security

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  • President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Jeh Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed, Johnson would become the first African American to hold the post.

    Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano, who resigned in July to become president of The University of California.

    Johnson, whose uncle was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, was in New York during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

    “In Jeh Johnson, we have the right person to continue this important work,” Obama said at the White House.  “From the moment I took office, Jeh was an absolutely critical member of my national security team, and he demonstrated again and again the qualities that will make him a strong Secretary of Homeland Security.”

    “Jeh has a deep understanding of the threats and challenges facing the United States,” the president said.  “As the Pentagon’s top lawyer, he helped design and implement many of the policies that have kept our country safe, including our success in dismantling the core of al Qaeda and the Fatah.”

    Obama said Johnson has experience leading large complex organizations.  As a member of the Pentagon’s senior management team, first under Bob Gates and then under Leon Panetta, Johnson helped oversee the work of more than 3 million military and civilian personnel across the country and around the world.

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