Rand Beers

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Rand Beers
Rand Beers official portrait.jpg
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Acting
In office
September 6, 2013 – December 23, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy Rafael Borras (Acting)
Preceded by Janet Napolitano
Succeeded by Jeh Johnson
United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Acting
In office
April 9, 2013 – September 6, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Jane Lute
Succeeded by Rafael Borras (Acting)
Undersecretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
In office
June 19, 2009 – March 6, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Robert Jamison
Succeeded by Suzanne E. Spaulding
In office
October 28, 1998 – August 31, 2002
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Robert Gelbard
Succeeded by Robert Charles
Personal details
Born (1942-11-30) November 30, 1942 (age 71)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Dartmouth College
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Rand Beers (born November 30, 1942) is the current Senior Advisor to the President of the United States.[1] He previously served as acting Secretary of Homeland Security[2] following the resignation of Secretary Janet Napolitano on September 6, 2013 until Jeh Johnson assumed that office on December 23, 2013.

As Under Secretary, Beers direct the Department's integrated efforts to reduce risks to physical, cyber and communications infrastructures. NPPD collaborates with all levels of government, the private sector, non-government organizations, and international bodies to prevent, respond to, and mitigate threats to U.S. national security from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events.

Beers has served as Counselor to Secretary Janet Napolitano since January 21, 2009 and will continue in that capacity while directing the activities of NPPD. Before his appointment, he was the co-leader of the Department of Homeland Security Transition Team for the incoming Obama administration. Prior to the 2008 election, Beers was president of the National Security Network, a Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy think tank he founded in 2006 to foster discussion of progressive national security ideas around the country, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Beers began his professional career as a Marine officer and rifle company commander in Vietnam (1964–1968). He entered the Foreign Service in 1971 and transferred to the Civil Service in 1983. He served most of his career in the Department of State, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Affairs in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, focusing on the Middle East and Persian Gulf (1992–1993). He was Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (1998–2002).

Beers also served on the NSC Staff under the previous four Presidents: Director for Counter-terrorism and Counter-narcotics (1988–1992), Director for Peacekeeping (1993–1995), and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs (1995–1998), and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Combating Terrorism on the NSC Staff (2002–2003). He resigned from the NSC Staff in March 2003, retired from government service in April 2003, and served as national security advisor for the Kerry-Edwards campaign (2003–2004).

Beers earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. The New York Times described Beers as "always a Democrat, though he served in several Republican administrations and says he voted for only one Republican: Spiro T. Agnew for governor of Maryland in 1966".[3]

John McCain controversy[edit]

Beers stirred up controversy with remarks[4] he made at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress in June 2008. The event, dubbed "McCain University," was a comprehensive effort to illustrate John McCain's policy proposals in the context of the 2008 Presidential Election. During the question and answer portion of the event, Beers noted that "his [John McCain's] national security experience [...] is sadly limited" due to the fact that "he was in isolation essentially for many of those years and did not experience the turmoil here or the challenges that were involved for those of us who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war." McCain, a captured U.S. Navy aviator, was a prisoner of war of the North Vietnamese government for several years, and was repeatedly tortured. Beers's comments elicited widespread criticism from conservative observers such as Rush Limbaugh[5] and Karl Rove,[6] as well as a variety of right-wing blogs.[7][not in citation given]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Gelbard
Undersecretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
1998–2002
Succeeded by
Robert Charles
Preceded by
Robert Jamison
Undersecretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Suzanne Spaulding
Acting
Preceded by
Jane Lute
United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Acting

2013
Succeeded by
Rafael Borras
Acting
Preceded by
Janet Napolitano
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Acting

2013
Succeeded by
Jeh Johnson