United States Secretary of Homeland Security

The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the U.S. and the safety of U.S. citizens. The secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the Homeland Security Act following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The new department consisted primarily of components transferred from other cabinet departments because of their role in homeland security, such as the Coast Guard, the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which includes Homeland Security Investigations), the Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It did not, however, include the FBI or the CIA.[2]

On January 20, 2009, the Senate confirmed Barack Obama's appointment of Janet Napolitano to be the third Secretary of Homeland Security,[3] effective January 21, 2009.[4] Napolitano resigned effective August 2013 to head the University of California. On October 17, President Obama announced his intention to nominate former General Counsel of the Department of Defense Jeh Johnson, and on December 16, the US Senate confirmed the nomination.[5]

The current Secretary of Homeland Security is Kirstjen Nielsen following the appointment of the then-incumbent secretary, John F. Kelly, to the post of White House Chief of Staff by President Donald Trump.[6] It was announced on October 12, 2017, that Kirstjen Nielsen was nominated as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security by President Donald Trump. She was confirmed by the Senate on December 5, 2017.[7] The Senate confirmation vote was 62-37.[8]

United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security
Seal of the Department of Homeland Security
Flag of the United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Flag of the Secretary of Homeland Security
Kirstjen Nielsen official photo (cropped)
Incumbent
Kirstjen Nielsen

since December 6, 2017
United States Department of Homeland Security
StyleMadam Secretary
Member ofCabinet
Homeland Security Council
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument6 U.S.C. § 112
FormationJanuary 24, 2003
First holderTom Ridge
SuccessionEighteenth[1]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Homeland Security
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level 1
Websitewww.dhs.gov

Inclusion in the presidential line of succession

Traditionally, the order of the presidential line of succession is determined (after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President pro tempore of the Senate) by the order of the creation of the cabinet positions, and the list as mandated under 3 U.S.C. § 19 follows this tradition.

On March 7, 2006, 43rd President George W. Bush signed H.R. 3199 as Pub.L. 109–177, which renewed the Patriot Act of 2001 and amended the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 to include the newly created Presidential Cabinet position of Secretary of Homeland Security in the line of succession after the previously authorized Secretary of Veterans Affairs (§ 503) (which are listed and designated in the order that their departments were created). In the 109th Congress, legislation was introduced to place the Secretary of Homeland Security into the line of succession after the Attorney General but that bill expired at the end of the 109th Congress and was not re-introduced.

List of Secretaries of Homeland Security

Prior to the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there existed an Assistant to the President for the Office of Homeland Security, which was created following the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Parties

  Republican (2)   Democratic (2)   Independent (2)

Status

  Denotes Acting Homeland Security Secretary

Secretary of Homeland Security Took office Left office Time in office Party State of residence President
1
Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge
(born 1945)
January 24, 2003February 1, 20052 years, 8 daysRepublicanPennsylvaniaGeorge W. Bush (Rep)
-
James Loy
James Loy
(born 1942)
Acting
February 1, 2005February 15, 200514 daysIndependentPennsylvaniaGeorge W. Bush (Rep)
2
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
(born 1953)
February 15, 2005January 21, 20093 years, 341 daysRepublicanNew JerseyGeorge W. Bush (Rep)
3
Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano
(born 1957)
January 21, 2009September 6, 20134 years, 228 daysDemocraticArizonaBarack Obama (Dem)
-
Rand Beers
Rand Beers
(born 1942)
Acting
September 6, 2013December 16, 2013101 daysDemocraticDistrict of ColumbiaBarack Obama (Dem)
4
Jeh Johnson
Jeh Johnson
(born 1957)
December 23, 2013January 20, 20173 years, 28 daysDemocraticNew JerseyBarack Obama (Dem)
5
John F. Kelly
John F. Kelly
(born 1950)
January 20, 2017July 31, 2017192 daysIndependentMassachusettsDonald Trump (Rep)
-
Elaine Duke
Elaine Duke
(born 1958)
Acting
July 31, 2017December 6, 2017128 daysIndependentOhioDonald Trump (Rep)
6
Kirstjen Nielsen
Kirstjen Nielsen
(born 1972)
December 6, 2017Incumbent1 year, 104 daysIndependentFloridaDonald Trump (Rep)

1 James Loy served as acting secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from February 1, 2005, to February 15, 2005.

2 Rand Beers served as acting secretary in his capacity as confirmed Undersecretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs and Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; Beers was the highest ranking Senate-approved presidential appointee at the Department of Homeland Security from September 6, 2013, to December 23, 2013.

3 Elaine Duke served as acting secretary in her capacity as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from July 31, 2017, to December 6, 2017.

Living former Secretaries of Homeland Security

As of November 2018, all five former Secretaries of Homeland Security are still living, as are all three former acting Secretaries of Homeland Security. The oldest being former acting Secretary James Loy (born 1942).

Name Term Date of birth (and age)
Tom Ridge January 24, 2003 – February 1, 2005 August 26, 1945 (age 73)
Michael Chertoff February 15, 2005 – January 21, 2009 November 28, 1953 (age 65)
Janet Napolitano January 21, 2009 – September 6, 2013 November 29, 1957 (age 61)
Jeh Johnson December 23, 2013 – January 20, 2017 September 11, 1957 (age 61)
John F. Kelly January 20, 2017 – July 31, 2017 May 11, 1950 (age 68)

Order of succession

The order of succession for the Secretary of Homeland Security is as follows:[9]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
  2. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
  3. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management
  4. Under Secretary, Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans
  5. Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology
  6. General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security
  7. Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration
  8. Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  9. Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  10. Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  11. Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  12. Chief Financial Officer
  13. Regional Administrator, Region V, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  14. Regional Administrator, Region VI, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  15. Regional Administrator, Region VII, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  16. Regional Administrator, Region IX, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  17. Regional Administrator, Region I, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Administration-cited potential nominees

Bernard Kerik

George W. Bush nominated Bernard Kerik for the position in 2004. However a week later, Kerik withdrew his nomination, explaining that he had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.[10]

Raymond Kelly

By July 2013, Raymond Kelly had served as Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for nearly 12 straight years. Within days of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's announcement that she was resigning, Kelly was soon cited as an obvious potential successor by New York Senator Charles Schumer and others.[11]

During a July 16, 2013, interview, President Obama referred generally to the "bunch of strong candidates" for nomination to head the Department of Homeland Security, but singled out Kelly as "one of the best there is" and "very well qualified for the job".[12]

Later in July 2013, the online internet news website/magazine Huffington Post detailed "a growing campaign to quash the potential nomination of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security" amid claims of "divisive, harmful, and ineffective policing that promotes stereotypes and profiling".[13] Days after that article, Kelly penned a statistics-heavy Wall Street Journal opinion article defending the NYPD's programs, stating "the average number of stops we conduct is less than one per officer per week" and that this and other practices have led to "7,383 lives saved—and... they are largely the lives of young men of color."[14]

Kelly was also featured because of his NYPD retirement and unusually long tenure there in a long segment on the CBS News program Sunday Morning in December 2013, especially raising the question of the controversial "stop and frisk" policy in New York City and the long decline and drop of various types of crimes committed.

References

  1. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute.
  2. ^ Homeland Security Act, Pub.L. 107–296
  3. ^ Murray, Shailagh; Kane, Paul (January 21, 2009). "Obama Picks Confirmed, But Clinton Is on Hold". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  4. ^ Chertoff: Inauguration security forces 'ready' - CNN.com
  5. ^ "Senate confirms new homeland security secretary". bostonherald.com.
  6. ^ Byrnes, Jesse (July 28, 2017). "Meet the woman set to lead Homeland Security". TheHill. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen to head Homeland Security". CBS News. December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress - 1st Session". www.senate.gov. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  9. ^ "Executive Order 13442: Amending the Order of Succession in the Department of Homeland Security" (PDF). Retrieved January 29, 2009.
  10. ^ Bernstein, Nina. "Mystery Woman in Kerik Case: Nanny". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  11. ^ "Names already popping as possible Janet Napolitano replacements", by Kevin Robillard and Scott Wong, Politico, July 12, 2013, retrieved July 13, 2013.
  12. ^ "Obama would consider Ray Kelly to replace Janet Napolitano", by Jennifer Epstein, Politico, July 16, 2013, retrieved July 17, 2013.
  13. ^ "Muslims Oppose Raymond Kelly Bid For Homeland Security Secretary", by Omar Sacirbey, Huffington Post, August 1, 2013, retrieved August 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ray Kelly: The NYPD: Guilty of Saving 7,383 Lives", by Ray Kelly, Opinion: The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2013, retrieved August 4, 2013.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Robert Wilkie
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Homeland Security
Succeeded by
John F. Kelly
as White House Chief of Staff
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Robert Wilkie
18th in line Last
49th Arizona State Legislature

The 49th Arizona State Legislature, consisting of the Arizona State Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives, was constituted in Phoenix from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, during the final month of Janet Napolitano's second term in office, prior to her resignation to become United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and the first two years of her successor, Jan Brewer. Both the Senate and the House membership remained constant at 30 and 60, respectively. The Republicans gained a seat in the Senate, increasing the majority to 18-12. The Republicans also gained two seats in the lower chamber, giving them a 35–25 majority.

Charles S. Johnson

Charles Spurgeon Johnson (July 24, 1893 – October 27, 1956) was an American sociologist and college administrator, the first black president of historically black Fisk University, and a lifelong advocate for racial equality and the advancement of civil rights for African Americans and all ethnic minorities. He preferred to work collaboratively with liberal white groups in the South, quietly as a "sideline activist," to get practical results.

His position is often contrasted with that of W. E. B. Du Bois, who was a powerful and militant advocate for blacks and described Johnson as "too conservative." During Johnson's academic studies and leadership of Fisk University during the 1930s and 1940s, the South had legal racial segregation and Jim Crow discriminatory laws and practices, including having disfranchised most black voters in constitutions passed at the turn of the century. Johnson was unwavering in personal terms in his opposition to this oppressive system, yet worked hard to change race relations in terms of short-term practical gains.

His grandson Jeh Johnson served as the United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2017.

Elaine Duke

Elaine Costanzo Duke (born June 26, 1958) is an American civil servant and former United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, serving from April 10, 2017 until April 15, 2018. She became acting Secretary of Homeland Security on July 31, 2017, when John F. Kelly assumed the office of White House Chief of Staff. She left the acting position on December 6, 2017, upon the confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen.

Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women

Since 2004, Forbes has compiled a list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. It is edited by notable Forbes journalists, including Moira Forbes, and is based on visibility and economic impact. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has remained at the top spot since 2006, with the brief exception of 2010 where she was temporarily supplanted by the then U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

Global Trade Exchange

The Global Trade Exchange (GTX) is, or was, a controversial Homeland Security intelligence project, related to maritime-ports data-mining, being one of three pillars of the Safe Ports Act-related Secure Freight Initiatives. The Global Trade Exchange has a mysterious history dating from conception in 2004, a 2007-2008 year of hype, and sudden placement on "hold" status. Described as a ready-to-buy, commercially available database, the GTX was rush-funded by Congress as part of and championed relentlessly by then-United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in evident disregard of objections of confused and frustrated U.S. private sector trade groups. After a year-long spate of official support, media hype, and after award of Congressional funding of $13 million, the GTX was put "on hold for further study by the [U.S.] Navy" in April 2008, for reasons still yet to-be explained. Touted by senior U.S. officials and Congress in 2007 as an anti-terrorism database for tracking long-haul shipping containers, the Global Trade Exchange's principal focus appears to have a different focus, notably advance trade-finance information for market-making purposes.

The Global Trade Exchange (GTX) was mentioned in a 2007 Wikileaks cable as an intelligence agency trade data project, run by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Patrol, intended to involve many other intelligence agencies worldwide.

H-2B visa

The H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.The H-2B visa classification requires the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to consult with appropriate agencies before admitting H-2B non-immigrants. Homeland Security regulations require that, except for Guam, the petitioning employer first apply for a temporary labor certification from the United States Secretary of Labor indicating that: (1) there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are capable of performing the temporary services or labor at the time of filing the petition for H-2B classification and at the place where the foreign worker is to perform the work; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The Department of Labor will review and process all H-2B applications on a first in, first out basis.Employers seeking to employ temporary H-2B workers must apply for Temporary Employment Certification to the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). An employer may submit a request for multiple unnamed foreign workers as long as each worker is to perform the same services or labor, on the same terms and conditions, in the same occupation, in the same area of intended employment during the same period of employment. Certification is issued to the employer, not the worker, and is not transferable from one employer to another or from one worker to another.

James Loy

James Milton Loy (born August 10, 1942) is a retired United States Coast Guard admiral who served as Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security in 2005 and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) from December 4, 2003, to March 1, 2005. Prior to his appointment as the DHS Deputy Secretary, he served as the second administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from 2002 to 2003, and before that as the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002.

Janet Napolitano

Janet Ann Napolitano (; born November 29, 1957) is an American politician, lawyer, and university administrator who served as the 21st governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and United States secretary of homeland security from 2009 to 2013, under President Barack Obama. She has been president of the University of California system since September 2013, shortly after she resigned as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Prior to her election as governor, she served as Attorney General of Arizona from 1999 to 2003. She was the first woman and the 23rd person to serve in that office. Napolitano is the 1977 Truman Scholar from New Mexico.

She has been the first woman to serve in several offices, including Attorney General of Arizona, Secretary of Homeland Security, and president of the University of California.

Forbes ranked her as the world's ninth most powerful woman in 2012. In 2008, she was cited by The New York Times to be among the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States. Some political commentators had suggested a possible candidacy in the 2016 election.

She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018.

Jeh Johnson

Jeh Charles Johnson ( "Jay"; born September 11, 1957) is an American lawyer and former government official who served as the fourth United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2017. He previously was the General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012 during the first years of the Obama Administration. He is currently a partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and a board of directors member at Lockheed Martin Corporation.Johnson is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A.) and Columbia Law School (J.D.), and is the grandson of sociologist and Fisk University President Charles S. Johnson. Johnson's first name is taken from a Liberian chief, who reportedly saved his grandfather's life while he was on a League of Nations mission to Liberia in 1930.

Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Michele Nielsen (born May 14, 1972) is an American attorney and national security expert serving as the sixth and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security since 2017. She is a former Principal Deputy White House Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump and was chief of staff to John F. Kelly during his term as Secretary of Homeland Security. She was confirmed on December 5, 2017, as the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Madam's Organ Blues Bar

Madam's Organ Blues Bar is a restaurant and nightclub located at 2461 18th Street NW in Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood. A local landmark, the bar is popular for its nightly live music, especially blues and bluegrass. Regular performers include Bobby Parker, Ben Andrews, Catfish Hodge, and Bob Perilla & Big Hillbilly Bluegrass. The bar offers billiards, has a rooftop deck and serves soul food. Notable regular patrons have included Euan Blair, son of Tony Blair, and the late Soviet dissident artist Alexandr Zhdanov. Hungarian Ambassador András Simonyi was not only a regular patron but also performed with his band "Coalition of the Willing" for his Washington Diplomatic farewell party attended by a Washington A-list including European diplomats, United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Additionally, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were regulars during the filming of Wedding Crashers, and Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher always stops by when in Washington. Barbara and Jenna Bush have also been spotted there. Madam's Organ was described as a favored hangout by Playboy and Stuff (magazine), and was featured on the Wild On! travel series on E!.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff (born November 28, 1953) is an American attorney who was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush. He was the co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as Assistant U.S. Attorney General. He succeeded Tom Ridge as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security on February 15, 2005.

Since leaving government service, Chertoff has worked as senior of counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. He also co-founded the Chertoff Group, a risk-management and security consulting company, which employs several former senior political appointees. Chertoff was also elected as Chairman of BAE Systems for a three-year term, beginning May 1, 2012.

Chertoff co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force.

Napolitano

Napolitano (Modern Italian "Napoletano", Neapolitan: Nnapulitano) is translated in English as Neapolitan. The word can refer to people from Napoli (Naples), their language, culture in addition to being an Italian surname.

People with the surname:

Andrew Napolitano, a former Superior Court judge and current correspondent for Fox News Channel

Angelina Napolitano, the first person in Canada to use the battered woman defense for murder

Antonio Napolitano (born 1928, Naples), an Italian film critic

Art Napolitano (born 1956, Mobile, Alabama), an American soccer player

Danilo Napolitano, an Italian cyclist

Dominic "Sonny Black" Napolitano, a capo in the Bonanno crime family

George Napolitano, a photographer

Gian Gaspare Napolitano (1907–1966), an Italian journalist, screenwriter and film director

Giorgio Napolitano (born 1925), former President of the Italian Republic

Grace Napolitano, an American politician, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives

Janet Napolitano, the current President of the University of California; former United States Secretary of Homeland Security; former Arizona Governor

Joe Napolitano, an American film and television director

Johnette Napolitano, an American musician, the lead singer and songwriter and bassist of Concrete Blonde

Luca Napolitano (born 1986, Avellino, Italy), an Italian songwriter

Luigi G. Napolitano Award, a prize awarded by IAF

Mario Napolitano, an Italian chess player

Michael Napolitano, the Mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island

Nicola Napolitano, multiple people

Nicola Napolitano (born 1983), an Italian footballer

Nicola Napolitano (1838–1863)

Norberto Napolitano, known by the pseudonym Pappo, an Argentine blues and rock musician

Paolo Maria Napolitano (born 1944), Italian judge

Peter Napolitano, known by his pseudonym Produce Pete, an American grocer, food writer, and television personality

Raimundo Napolitano, an Italian painter of the Renaissance period

Stefano Napolitano (born 1995), Italian tennis player

Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014

The Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 3488) is a bill that would authorize the United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish preclearance facilities, conduct preclearance operations, or provide customs services outside of the United States of America to prevent terrorists, terrorist instruments, and other national security threats from gaining access to the United States.The bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.

Presidential Memorandum on Military Service by Transgender Individuals by Donald Trump (March 23, 2018)

The Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security Regarding Military Service by Transgender Individuals is the 43rd presidential memorandum signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018.The memorandum:

Revokes the Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

The United States Secretary of Defense and United States Secretary of Homeland Security may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.On 13 April 2018 the policy was stayed when a federal district court ruled that the 2018 memorandum essentially repeated the same issues as its predecessor order from 2017, that transgender service members (and transgender individuals as a class) were a protected class entitled to strict scrutiny of adverse laws (or at worst, a quasi-suspect class), and ordered that matter continue to a full trial hearing on the legality of the proposed policy.

Social Media Working Group Act of 2014

The Social Media Working Group Act of 2014 (H.R. 4263) is a bill that would direct the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to establish within the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a social media working group (the Group) to provide guidance and best practices to the emergency preparedness and response community on the use of social media technologies before, during, and after a terrorist attack.The bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.

Tom Ridge

Thomas Joseph Ridge (born August 26, 1945) is an American politician and author who served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005. Prior to this, Ridge was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Ridge was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania and raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Harvard University with honors, Ridge served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He then returned to Pennsylvania and completed his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1972, and entered private practice.

As assistant district attorney in Erie, Ridge ran for Congress in his district, where he served six terms. He then ran for governor in 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania. He won the election, and was reelected in 1998 with the most votes for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania (where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000) in more than half a century. As Governor of Pennsylvania, Ridge is credited for statewide advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment. As of 2019, Ridge is the last Republican to win reelection as Pennsylvania's governor.

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush named Ridge the first director of the newly created Office of Homeland Security. In January 2003, the Office of Homeland Security became an official Cabinet-level Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and Ridge became the first Secretary of Homeland Security. He served in these roles for Bush's first term as president, then retired and returned to the private sector.

Since re-entering the private sector, Ridge has served on the boards of The Home Depot, The Hershey Company and Exelon Corporation and as a senior advisor to Deloitte & Touche, and TechRadium. Ridge is also the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based security consulting firm. Ridge spent time campaigning with Senator John McCain during his 2008 bid for the presidency and was believed by some to have been on the short list of potential running mates.

Visqueen (band)

Visqueen is a power pop/punk rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 2001. It is named after a brand of polyethylene film that United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge once recommended as a defense against bioterrorism.

The band's original members were singer-songwriter-guitarist Rachel Flotard and drummer Ben Hooker, both formerly of Hafacat; Allan Ross (guitar; left in November 2001), and Kim Warnick, formerly of the Fastbacks. Warnick retired at the end of 2004, but Muffs co-founder Ronnie Barnett signed on to play the bass during the band's 2005 tour. Early in 2006, Bill Coury, formerly of Once For Kicks & Sourmash, joined the band as bassist, and later Tom Cummings, formerly of Once For Kicks & Sourmash, joined the band as a second guitarist. Late in 2006, Bill Coury left the band and by spring 2007, Barrett Jones, producer (Foo Fighters, The Presidents of the United States of America), joined Visqueen as bassist.

Their current bassist is Cristina Bautista. Bautista also played bass in Connecticut Four, from Bellingham, Washington, and in 2006 put out a solo EP, This Is the Team.

Recently Flotard has performed as backup singer in support of Neko Case and Jon Rauhouse, a pedal steel guitar player and multi-instrumentalist who often tours with Case.

Visqueen's third album, Message to Garcia, was released in 2009 on Flotard's own label, Local 638 Records, named for the labor union that Flotard's late father belonged to.Flotard used to write an advice column for Seattle-based online publication Three Imaginary Girls called "Love Is Hard with Rachel Flotard."

Flotard was featured on Minus the Bear's song "Into the Mirror" from their album Omni.

Visqueen played what were announced as their final shows in 2011, with a farewell show at the Neptune Theater in November of that year. On November 28, 2016, after a five-year hiatus, Visqueen reunited as Flotard, Hooker, and Bautista for a live show at the Crocodile Lounge in Seattle as the opening act for X.

United States Secretaries of Homeland Security
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National Protection
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Science and
Technology
Intelligence and Analysis
Management
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