Rand Beers became the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 6, 2013. Previously he served as Acting Deputy Secretary from May 2013 until September 2013. In June 2009, Beers was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the DHS where he has led NPPD’s integrated efforts to reduce risks to physical, cyber and communications infrastructures. Throughout his service at DHS prior to becoming Acting Secretary, Beers was a trusted advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, providing invaluable counsel and guidance on a wide spectrum of homeland security issues, from counterterrorism efforts to cybersecurity.
During his tenure at DHS before becoming the Acting Secretary, Beers concurrently served as the Department’s Counterterrorism Coordinator, overseeing departmental operational and policy functions to prevent, respond to, and mitigate threats to U.S. national security from acts of terrorism. Before serving in DHS, he was the co-chair of the DHS Transition Team for the incoming Obama Administration.
Prior to the Obama Administration, Beers was the President of the National Security Network, a network of experts seeking to foster discussion of progressive national security ideas around the country, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Beers served on the National Security Council Staff under four Presidents as Director for Counter-terrorism and Counter-narcotics (1988-1992), Director for Peacekeeping (1993-1995), 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 (2002-2003). He resigned from the NSC Staff in March 2003 and retired from government service in April 2003. Following his departure, he served as national security advisor for the Kerry campaign (2003-2004).
Beers began his professional career as a Marine Corps 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 earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.