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Rand Beers heads to White House

Rand Beers, left, is welcomed by Belgium's Interior Minister Joelle Milquet in Brussels on Dec. 4, when he was acting homeland security secretary. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert). Rand Beers, left, is welcomed by Belgium’s Interior Minister Joelle Milquet in Brussels on Dec. 4, when he was acting homeland security secretary. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

Rand Beers, a veteran counter-terrorism official who has been serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is moving to the White House where he will serve as a senior adviser to President Obama.

For more than four years, Beers, 71, has served as the department’s undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, responsible for protecting the nation’s computer networks, communications systems, and physical infrastructure. He has held the position of acting director since September, when former Secretary Janet Napolitano left the post to head the University of California system.

At the White House, Beers will hold the title of Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, serving as Lisa Monaco’s deputy in that role.

A former Marine officer who commanded a rifle company in Vietnam, Beers has spent much of his government career at the State Department, including as the assistant secretary of state in charge of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. He has worked on the National Security Council staffs of presidents from both parties.

In a message to DHS employees Friday, Secretary Jeh Johnson, confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month, wrote: “While Rand will be greatly missed at DHS, we will continue to benefit from his leadership and expertise as he transitions into the role of Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. There is no one more suitable for this position. We wish Rand all the best as he continues his lifetime of service and commitment to protecting our nation.”

Scott Wilson is the chief White House correspondent for the Washington Post. Previously, he was the paper’s deputy Assistant Managing Editor/Foreign News after serving as a correspondent in Latin America and in the Middle East.

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