For almost half a century, Rand Beers has devoted himself to the service of his country and the American people, from commanding a Marine Corps rifle company in Vietnam to serving as a top adviser in the Obama White House. And earlier this month, officials throughout the U.S. Government came together in honor of Rand’s retirement and to recognize his distinguished career in public service.
For his nearly 50 years of dedication to the strengthening of our homeland and ensuring the safety and security of the American people, Rand Beers received the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department’s highest civilian honor.
Rand Beers has been a selfless, diplomatic and skilled public servant. Over the course of his career – one that includes service on the National Security Council Staff of five Presidents from different political parties – he has been at the forefront of the most challenging national security issues we have faced as a country; from counterterrorism to cybersecurity; from border security to advancing the nation’s security relationship with critical North American partners.
Prior to his last appointment, as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, Rand served as the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. Throughout his time at DHS, he provided guidance on a wide range of homeland security-related priorities, including overseeing departmental operations and policies to prevent, respond to, and mitigate terrorist threats to U.S. national security. He also led efforts to reduce risks to physical, cyber, and communications infrastructures for more than four years as the Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
Throughout his career, Beers has been a champion for the safety and security of the American public. During his retirement ceremony, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, on behalf of the entire Department, paid tribute to a great leader and true public servant.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Nation will remember the lasting impact of Rand Beers. We thank him for his service and his patriotism.
The Department of Homeland Security is proud that three of our social media accounts have been recognized among Government Executive’s top accounts in government. DHS utilizes social media to communicate with the public in dynamic and innovative ways, and strives to provide more information in more places in ways.
Learn more about these award-winning accounts:
S&T was recognized for their monthly Twitter chats that share the latest in government research and development, and our continued work to provide first responders nationwide with the technology their need to do their jobs.
FEMA’s blog is authored by employees from around the agency, utilizing a variety of viewpoints to communicate on topics ranging from technology to emergency preparedness tips to how we are staying one step ahead of the next threats. The latest blog post, authored by FEMA Region 10 Public Affairs Specialist Erin Ward, is focused on recovery and rebuilding efforts one year after the Oso, Wash. mudslide.
Transportation Security Administration’s Instagram Account
TSA’s Instagram account shares photos of wide variety of prohibited items that our hardworking TSA officers find daily at our nation’s airports – to remind the traveling public what can and can’t fly aboard the aircraft. Additionally, the account highlights useful travel tips, risk-based security initiatives like the popular TSA Pre✓® program, and of course our dedicated workforce and their canine companions.
Learn more about the Department of Homeland Security on social media here.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson shares a hug with TSA supervisor Carol Richel and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Heather Sylve during a visit to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. When a deranged man attacked TSA officers and wounded Officer Richel last Friday, Lieutenant Heather Sylve took the attacker down and saved Officer Richel’s life. The bravery and dedication of these women, and our TSA workforce at this airport and at airports across the country, is an inspiration.
Official DHS Photo by Barry Bahler | Download High-Resolution Image (2100 x 1494)
Posted by Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector Raul Perales
EDITORS NOTE: This blog was originally posted by the White House on March 26.
For the sake of our economy and our security, legal immigration should be simple and efficient. After the long wait for a legislative solution to fix our broken system, the President took action within his authority to help streamline the legal immigration system until Congress passes commonsense, comprehensive reform.
Earlier this week, speaking at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit, President Obama announced the next steps the Administration is taking to attract the world’s top talented professionals by making it easier for global companies to launch and invest in the United States:
My administration is going to reform the L-1B visa category, which allows corporations to temporarily move workers from a foreign office to a U.S. office in a faster, simpler way. And this could benefit hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrant workers and their employers; that, in turn, will benefit our entire economy and spur additional investment.
Specifically, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued proposed guidance this week clarifying the standards and creating consistency for decisions of L-1B nonimmigrant visa applications. This is a popular visa category that allows global companies to temporarily transfer specialized workers to the U.S. for the purpose of launching or expanding a U.S. operation.
This long-anticipated policy guidance, which has been released for public feedback, has been of particular interest to global companies seeking to do business in the United States. It will provide increased certainty to businesses and eliminate confusion in the L-1B program, helping to bolster investment and our overall economic growth.
By releasing this updated guidance, the Department of Homeland Security is taking yet another important step forward in executing the President’s immigration executive actions announced in November 2014. These actions will modernize and streamline the legal immigration system, helping grow the U.S. economy, create jobs, and recognize the fluid dynamics of the 21st century.
The economic benefits of the President’s action are formidable. Last month, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers released an updated report on the economic impact of the entirety of the President’s executive actions, finding that they could boost the nation’s GDP by as much as $250 billion while shrinking the federal deficit by as much as $65 billion over the next 10 years. These actions are also expected to increase wages and productivity of all workers, not just immigrants, and expand the American workforce by an estimated 200,000 people over the next 10 years.
While the President is leading through administration actions, he also recognizes that more must be done through legislation. As he stated at the SelectUSA Investment Summit:
Of course, as all of you know, one of the things that would make America even more attractive to businesses and that would grow our economy and shrink our deficits, and keep this country safer, stronger, and smarter, would be a comprehensive immigration reform package. We need to get immigration reform done here in the United States of America.
The bottom line: Only Congress can finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. President Obama continues to be committed to working with Congress to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that will capture the full economic benefits of immigration reform
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson was honored earlier this week with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Empowering Voices Award, for his dedication to and personal investment in engagement with Muslim American communities across the United States.
During the 2015 Empowering Voices Gala and before White House representatives, Members of Congress, and civil society leaders, MPAC DC Director Haris Tarin and President Salam Al-Marayati recognized Secretary Johnson for his dedication to public service and empowering the Muslim American community through forums, discussions, and meetings throughout the country.
During the past year, Secretary Johnson has made it a personal priority to engage community organizations to promote local efforts and partnerships to counter homegrown violent extremism. Since June 2014, Secretary Johnson has traveled to Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Columbus, and Chicago, and has used these opportunities to hear from hundreds of community leaders, and understand how the Department can better serve their needs.
In addition to Secretary Johnson’s personal commitment to the issue, the award recognizes the Department’s continued efforts to engage with local communities on this important issue. The Department, through its Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), operates an interagency community engagement program anchored by regularly-held quarterly roundtables in 16 cities around the country. These roundtables, among other similar efforts undertaken by CRCL in partnership with all Department component agencies and offices, serve as a primary tool in the Department's efforts at building trust, explaining policies, clarifying misconceptions, and addressing grievances.
As Americans, we all have an equal stake in the safety and security of our country, and the protection of our family, friends, and neighbors. DHS and Secretary Johnson remain committed to fostering public engagement in countering the extremist narrative and encouraging continued positive engagement in society, and full participation in the democratic process. We continue to become a stronger nation, and a more perfect union, as a result.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Secretary Jeh Johnson and his Canadian counterpart, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney, share a laugh during a bilateral meeting in Washington, D.C.. On Monday, Secretary Johnson and Minister Blaney signed a preclearance agreement that will significantly benefit travelers and trade by reducing congestion and efficiency at the border by allowing for the immigration, customs and agriculture inspections required for entry into either country to occur on foreign soil.
Official DHS Photo by Barry Bahler.
Kevin K. McAleenan was officially sworn in as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner – the agency’s chief operating official – March 18 during a ceremony at CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Secretary Jeh C. Johnson and CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske spoke of Deputy Commissioner McAleenan’s distinguished work as a public servant, and well as his dedication to and vision for the agency.
After taking the oath of office, Deputy Commissioner McAleenan addressed the audience and highlighted the talent and accomplishments of CBP’s global workforce.
“Our people are our heart and soul,” said Deputy Commissioner McAleenan. “I believe we have the best leadership team in the government and I know we have a frontline workforce that has never let us down, no matter what challenges they face. We’re attracting tremendous talent and investing in enhanced training for them to take us to the next level.”
Mr. McAleenan served as the acting Deputy Commissioner since March 30, 2013. He previously served since Dec. 31, 2011, as acting assistant commissioner of the CBP Office of Field Operations, leading the agency’s port security and facilitation operations. Prior to serving in these capacities, he held the position of deputy assistant commissioner, Office of Field Operations, between July 2010 and December 2011.
Learn more about CBP here: www.cbp.gov
This week, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with Vietnam Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang to discuss a range of global security-related priorities, and expanding homeland security cooperation between the United States and Vietnam. Secretary Johnson and Minister Quang discussed law enforcement cooperation, information sharing, transnational threats, maritime security collaboration, and cybersecurity.
During the meeting, Secretary Johnson and Minister Quang discussed the potential for expanding joint approaches to address transnational crime, especially in combating human trafficking, protection of intellectual property rights, combating illicit finance, and bolstering cooperation in cyber investigations. Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Pham Quang Vinh and DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy and Chief Diplomatic Officer Alan Bersin were also in attendance.
Minister Quang is visiting the United States as part of high-level exchanges and enhanced collaboration that mark the July 2015 20th Anniversary of the resumption of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations. The visit is an important step in implementation of the July 2013 agreement between President Obama and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to establish a new comprehensive partnership.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson listens to Martin Luther King III during Sunday morning service at Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Secretary Johnson traveled to Selma to mark the 50th Anniversary of the marches from Selma to Montgomery. An ancestor to Secretary Johnson was a co-founder of the church and their name is etched into the church’s corner stone.
Posted by A/S Raul Perales and CPO Soraya Correa
Two weeks ago, we were honored to join more than 450 industry partners and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leaders in a strategic industry conversation. Our industry partners are well positioned to assist the Department in solving problems, improving processes, and supporting diverse mission areas. The Strategic Industry Conversation provided a venue to discuss program-specific topics that span multiple DHS components and support the Secretary’s Unity of Effort initiative, which involves sharing challenges and best practices with our industry partners.
Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered keynote remarks, where he emphasized how working closely with industry leads to improved mission outcomes. Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about how industry input should inform the Department’s strategic planning and how he sees a “new day” in how we engage our private sector partners.
Breakout sessions, led by industry leaders and Department employees, encouraged participants to discuss various topics across the homeland security enterprise, from policy and programmatic advocacy to procurement and R&D. Vendors interested in specific mission areas (e.g. biometrics) were able to hear from, and speak with, DHS and industry leaders who are actively engaged in those mission areas. These discussions could lead to new business relationships.
Over the course of the day, DHS received constructive feedback from industry about how to better communicate during all phases of the acquisition lifecycle. Industry partners gained greater perspective into the Department, its priorities, and how it approaches acquisition.
As the Department’s Chief Procurement Officer and Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector, we were proud to engage with our industry partners for a day of honest, frank discussions, which is a crucial first step in strengthening our engagements.
We are committed to working with our industry partners in order to reach new heights in industry‑government communication. Please join us as we work to make DHS the best partner in government.
For more information on doing business with the Department please visit: www.dhs.gov/do-business-dhs.