Jeh Johnson, Ex-Top Pentagon Lawyer, to Head Homeland Security Department


Jeh Johnson, former general counsel of the Defense Department, will be nominated today by President Obama to head the Department of Homeland Security, Politico reports. Johnson “was known for his sound judgment and counsel” and was “responsible for the prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the president and secretary of defense,” said one official.

Obama's first Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, left to head the University of California system. The acting secretary is Rand Beers. Johnson is seen as a skilled facilitator of inter-agency cooperation, something that's been a challenge for national security agencies since Homeland Security's creation during the Bush administration. Johnson would be the fourth secretary of the department after Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Napolitano — and the first African-American with the job.

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