The Washington Post

A progress report on Homeland Security’s leadership vacancies

eye-opener-logo6

Poor worker morale has plagued the Department of Homeland Security for years, but good-government experts say conditions would improve if the Obama administration fills the many leadership vacancies within the organization.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has promised to help President Obama find nominees for the open slots since taking office in December. At that point, the White House still had not named permanent leaders for 18 of DHS’s top 48 positions — they were either vacant or filled by acting officials.

Here’s where things stand since then:


(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Obama has chosen three nominees for Homeland Security roles since Johnson’s confirmation. The selections include:

*Health and Human Services civil rights director Leon Rodriguez to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

* Defense Department research official Reggie Brothers to become undersecretary for science and technology.

* Former Air Force officer and U.S. counterterrorism coordinator Francis X. Taylor to become undersecretary for intelligence and analysis.

(Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Francis X. Taylor as the former chief executive of a hedge-fund firm that filed for bankruptcy in October. Francis Taylor had no connection with that company, FX Concepts, whose former CEO was John Taylor).

Obama has named no additional DHS nominees since Johnson took office, but the Senate plays a partial role in allowing of the remaining gaps to linger. Six of the president’s picks dating back to last summer are still pending confirmation.

Aside from Brothers, Taylor and Rodriguez, the other nominees awaiting a vote include: former drug czar Gil Kerlikowske for head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Food and Drug official John Roth for DHS inspector general; and Suzanne Spaulding for undersecretary of DHS’s national protection and programs directorate, where she is currently the deputy undersecretary.

A dozen vacancies would still remain if the Senate approves all of those nominees.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.