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Rand Beers Tapped as Counselor to Napolitano

Counter-terrorism expert Rand Beers quit his job with George Bush and joined the Sen. John Kerry campaign; now he will work with the Obama administration. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

By Spencer Hsu
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of homeland security, named her first senior aide this morning, tapping Rand Beers as counselor.

Beers, a former National Security Council staffer and State Department official for Democratic and Republican administrations, served from 2002 to 2003 as counter-terrorism adviser to President Bush before resigning to coordinate security issues for the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Beers subsequently formed a small think tank, the National Security Network, and was in charge of Obama's homeland security transition team.

In a statement this morning, Beers said, "Secretary of Homeland Security-designate Janet Napolitano has offered, and I have accepted, the position of Counselor to the Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.... With many great challenges ahead of us, Governor Napolitano, myself and the entire Obama national security team are determined to make certain that  the federal government, state and local officials have all the critical tools, information and capacity to keep America as safe as it can be."

Napolitano is set to undergo a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate homeland security committee. Lawmakers in both parties said they expect no obstacles to rapid confirmation by the Senate.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 14, 2009; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  National Security  
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