Janet Napolitano, Secy of Homeland Security
I'm looking for something about fighting international terrorists and illegal aliens. Maybe I missed it somewhere.
From her remarks in the Congressional hearing concerning her nomination:
Please allow me to turn now to some of the issues that I know are of concern to you, and that President-Elect Obama has pledged to address.
To effectively secure our homeland, we must make the operations of this agency more effective. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security was essentially the largest re-organization of the federal government since 1947. As you know well, it was formed of 22 once-separate federal agencies and operates out of 70 buildings at 40 different locations in the Washington area. Forty percent of the workforce is contracted out and morale is low.
If you allow me to do this job, we will work to create a unified vision for this agency. In its short existence, we have seen – sometimes too clearly – the consequences of parochial lines and failure to communicate across those lines. We must and will streamline those communications to make certain the right person has the right information at the right time. We will recruit, train and retain the best and the brightest.
We must and we will build up the working relationships with the other federal agencies whose information, skill and expertise is essential to execution of a coordinated, fully functioning homeland security strategy that is deserving of the respect of American citizens.
The federal government cannot do this alone. As we strengthen these federal links to fulfill our mission of securing the homeland, we will also heighten and extend our cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments, and the many expert law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency management professionals. We will improve information sharing, strengthen our enforcement mechanisms and intensify accountability, and we will provide more effective means for the private sector to join us in meeting our goals for the safety and security of our nation.
By uniting, professionalizing and strengthening this department we will mature it, simplify it, clarify it and ultimately place it in a better position to fulfill the many duties we are asked to carry out.
Before we proceed further, please allow me to thank the current staff of the Department, especially Deputy Secretary Paul Schneider, for their responsiveness to my questions, for their thorough briefings, and for their commitment to making this transition as smooth as possible. Our goal is to have the national security team in place on January 21st and to have a seamless handoff of responsibility. The DHS staff has worked hard to make that a reality and I am grateful.