Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 17, 2014

Less czar than troika

Filed under: Biosecurity,Media,Preparedness and Response,Public Health & Medical Care — by Philip J. Palin on October 17, 2014

CNN, the New York Times, and others are reporting the imminent announcement of a White House “Ebola Czar”. The man-of-the-hour is Ron Klain.  The former chief-of-staff to Vice President Biden (and Vice President Gore) has been in the private sector since January 2011.

The appointment responds to a burgeoning cry of “who’s in charge?” from the news media and others.

It’s a very primitive question, not well-suited to an infectious disease emerging into a highly-networked global system.  Mr. Klain will, I perceive, actually be part of a troika involving Lisa Monaco and Susan Rice.  He is very experienced riding the back of both the “interagency” and the media. Despite rough rides in the past, the tigers have not yet eaten him up.

Hold on and best wishes.

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4 Comments »

Comment by Arnold Bogis

October 17, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

I’d be curious what percentage of Lisa Monaco’s day or week is spent on non-terrorism homeland security issues. It seems that everyone that has held that position comes from a security background and then end up dealing with non-security issues. For example, I always thought Brennan looked very uncomfortable speaking about H1N1.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 17, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

As I briefed thousands and thousands o time the correct question is not “who is in charge” but instead “who can do what both personnel and organizations” and who exactly knows that capability.

In my opinion Ron Klain is clueless on the latter.

My picks:
1. Gerberding formerly of CDC!
2.Fauci at or formerly of NIH!
3. Two able young stars in support-Ann Norward. M.D. and Ted Pierson, NIH!

For real clout perhaps Mike Leavitt and Richard McKeown formerly at EPA and HHS!

We do not need a finance type.

NO PARTISHIP PLEASE!

Comment by John Comiskey

October 17, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

The Ebola threat to the homeland, real, not fully understood, and hyped is HLS 101.

Ebola is a wicked problem. It is lethal, real-time, evolving, not easily understood, communicable, and knows no borders

WHO is in charge? World Health Organization, CDC, States, local government?

Who is involved: Medical, public health, EMS, fire service, law enforcement, public administrators, educators, media, others TBD. Most importantly citizens.
The Ebola threat to the homeland, real, not fully understood, and hyped is HLS 101.

Ebola is a wicked problem. It is lethal, real-time, evolving, not easily understood, communicable, and knows no borders

WHO is in charge? World Health Organization, CDC, States, local government?

Who is involved: Medical, public health, EMS, fire service, law enforcement, public administrators, educators, media, others TBD. Most importantly citizens.

See CRS for H1N1 legal guidance http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/122922.pdf

Comment by Donald Quixote

October 18, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

This appointment does support the age old question: Does a person need a background in the field for the job, especially a specialized one?

Does the Surgeon General really need to be a physician? Does the Attorney General really need to be an attorney? Isn’t it all just about the leadership skills, vision and one size fits all? All too often, a JD is the one size.

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