As UPI noted yesterday, DHS has named an acting director of the Office of Grants and Training to replace Tracy Henke, who left the post last month:
Corey Gruber, currently the executive director of the national preparedness taskforce, began as acting director of the Office of Grants and Training Tuesday, department Spokesman Russ Knocke told United Press International.
Gruber’s bio is available here, and everything on it indicates that he’s qualified to man the post. So why not nominate him as the regular director? DHS has become increasingly reliant on the practice of appointing people to acting positions and keep them in that role for a long time, and that’s not a healthy practice. For example, there has been an acting Undersecretary of Management (DHS CIO Scott Charbo) for over five months now, and Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Runge served as an acting Undersecretary of S&T for a total of five months.
By putting people in acting positions and keeping them there for a long time, the leadership of DHS is essentially guaranteeing that these parts of DHS will be forced to tread water for a few months, while waiting for the permanent guy or gal to come along. That would be acceptable if we were talking about a part of the federal government that wasn’t critical to national security, but it’s an unnecessary risk for an important agency like DHS.