Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 19, 2007

White House Homeland Security Advisor Resigns

Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 19, 2007

The White House announced today that Francis Fragos Townsend, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, resigned.  She served as head of the President’s Homeland Security Council for the last nearly five years and oversaw the development of the recent update to the National Strategy for Homeland Security, the lessons learned report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the fires on the west coast. 

Townsend with Chertoff and HHS Secretary
No word yet on who will replace Ms. Townsend.  Her recently appointed deputy, Joel Bagnal, stepped in for former Deputy HLS Advisor Ken Rapuano after he deployed for a tour in Afghanistan.  Will Mr. Bagnal step in for Townsend?The President reportedly asked all senior political appointees nearly a year ago to decide promptly if they’ll stay until the end of his term.  If not, they were to step down soon to be replaced.  Every President faces an exodus near the end of the second term, and that makes the request sensible.  That Townsend is leaving now — and without an immediate replacement — prompts questions about that wing of the White House.  Who fills that job takes up a great task of shepherding a homeland security mission during very difficult times, and does so by inheriting a new strategy he or she may or may not have had a hand in writing.  Given these circumstances, expect an insider like Bagnal to be named. 

I sure could be wrong on Townsend’s replacement.  Readers are encouraged to comment on who they think will be the new Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Print
  • LinkedIn


Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 19, 2007 @ 10:45 am

For the importance of continuity at this time, I concur with you that Joel Bagnal and the experience he brings should be the individual appointed to the position as an immediate interim replacement.

As we all know, citizens keep a very watchful eye on those entrusted to be vigilant on our country’s behalf and DHS must continue to present itself as a resilient government protectorate of the values, ideals and freedom of this great nation at a time of war with those who seek our demise. The wonderful giving and caring people of this great nation deserve the discipline and commitment of those who have chosen to protect us.

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA

Comment by Ge'r Pierro

November 20, 2007 @ 9:45 am

It’s amazing, at least to this outsider, that NYC teachers & garbagemen cannot strike (by law)…yet during these “trying times” we don’t have a pinch-hitter already lined up for such an important civic post?
Unless someone knows, during the transition time of replacement, nothing is scheduled to happen; this certainly is a strangely coincidental era.

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » 4 Administration HLS Officials Named

March 22, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

[…] Frances Fragos Townsend announced her resignation last November as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In that position, Townsend also served as chair of the White House Homeland Security Council. News reports surfaced that known figures, such as retired Army Gen. John Abizaid, former CENTCOM Commander, and Adm. (Ret.) James Loy, former Coast Guard Commandant and Deputy Homeland Security Secretary, turned down offers by the White House to succeed Townsend. With one year left in this term, it is hard to blame them for declining to return to government service on that note. Townsend’s former deputy, Joel Bagnal, a former Army colonel, has served in an Acting position since her departure and according to those I’ve spoken with, he maintains a great deal of respect in the interagencey. […]

Pingback by HSC-NSC Merger Debated on the Hill | Homeland Security Watch

February 13, 2009 @ 7:40 am

[…] of Homeland Security, which is a sort of predecessor to the HSC, came out opposed to a merger. Fran Townsend, the first and longest serving Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland […]

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>