DHS Undersecretary of Preparedness George Foresman tendered his resignation today. The President nominated U/S Foresman October 21, 2005, after Foresman served as Homeland Security Advisor to Virginia Governor Warner.Â Per tradition, just about every senior political appointee was given a choice soon after the mid-term elections last year: step down now or stay through the end of the term.Â The timing makes it easy for those desiring a change for whatever reason to resign after surviving an election.Â But if anyone stays, it is expected that they stick it out becauseÂ filling those jobs with onlyÂ 18-montsh left or less is pretty tough — especially if those posts are Senate confirmed.Â No president wants a department run by acting under secretaries.Â And so this timing makes me wonder.Â Perhaps he just wants to spend time with his family…
Update 4/2:Â I should have beenÂ more explicit in this post by noting the obvious:Â The position of U/S for PreparednessÂ won’t exist any longer due to organizational changes that include Â shifting Preparedness responsibilities to a new National Protection and Programs directorate and FEMA. (Thanks to reader JJ for keeping me in line.)
Statement by Secretary Chertoff follows:
Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the RESIGNATION of UNDER SECRETARY GEORGE FORESMAN
March 29, 2007Today, I accepted the resignation of George Foresman as Under Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, effective in the coming weeks. George has given me and the entire senior leadership team wise counsel in addressing complex homeland security challenges under trying conditions.George is an exceptional professional who has shown a steadfast commitment to the ideals of leadership by example. Prior to coming to the department, George spent more than 20 years in local and state government in Virginia and is respected around the country for his bi-partisanship and expertise. Through his tireless dedication, George helped sharpen the federal government’s focus in the areas of infrastructure protection, including the security of chemical facilities, national information technology and telecommunications systems, and he has been instrumental in leading refinements to our grants processes, approaches to risk management, use of biometrics, and communications interoperability.I am grateful for George’s service to the American public and his lasting contributions to the security of our homeland. I regret seeing him leave, and look forward to our continued friendship.