Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard Statement at DHS Management Challenges Hearing
I welcome everyone to this morning’s hearing on Management Challenges at the Department of Homeland Security.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the event that precipitated the formation of the DHS, and after 18 years since Congress created the Department, it continues to struggle with long-standing and new management challenges.
These challenges span from the management of federated component agencies, employee morale, and the evolving nature of new threats to the security of our country.
This past year dramatically exemplifies these constantly emerging and daunting threats.
When nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on US soil on 9/11, DHS was founded to counter the threat of terrorism from abroad.
However, over the course of this year we experienced weeks in which the daily number of Americans who died of COVID 19, surpassed the tragedy of 9/11.
While the threat of foreign-based terrorism continues to be a serious threat, recent events have highlighted the real and growing danger posed by domestic violent extremists.
As was discussed during a subcommittee hearing last week, we are also extremely concerned about the very real hazards posed by our vulnerabilities to ever evolving cybersecurity threats which were not easily foreseen 20 years ago.
Joining us to share their expertise and recommendations on these critical issues, I am pleased to welcome two very distinguished and experienced witnesses.
Secretary Michael Chertoff headed the Department from 2005 to 2009. He continues to play a role in securing the nation, as the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Chertoff Associates.
He is also senior “of counsel” at the law firm Covington and Burlington.
Before his service as DHS Secretary, he served for more than a decade as a federal prosecutor and then as a federal judge.
Secretary Jeh Johnson led the Department from 2013 to 2017 and serves as a partner in the litigation department of the Paul, Weiss law firm.
Prior to leading DHS, his accomplishments included both private sector legal work and public sector senior leadership roles at the Departments of Justice and Defense.
Each of these men led the vast 22 component agency, 230,000 employee Department.
Both have contributed significantly to the development of the Department’s management functions.
As we approach the end of the DHS’s second decade in existence, I look forward to hearing their thoughts on what they see as the Department’s most pressing management challenges and major obstacles and how best to address them.
We greatly appreciate you both agreeing to appear before the Subcommittee this morning.