Rand Beers was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On June 19, 2009, Beers was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to direct NPPD’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.
As Under Secretary for NPPD, Beers oversees the coordinated operational and policy functions of the Directorate’s subcomponents – Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), Infrastructure Protection (IP), and the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program – in support of the Department’s critical mission.
Beers has served as Counselor to Secretary 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 incoming Obama Administration. Prior to the 2008 election, 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, starting both in 2004.
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.