Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Revolving Door Between Homeland Security and Chertoff Group

The Chertoff Group, headed by former Department of Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff, is quickly become the chief private interface between DHS and homeland security contractors.

Chertoff founded the national security consulting agency in March 2007, and immediately established its high-profile presence in the private homeland security sector by bringing into the agency General Michael V. Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, as well as one former DHS deputy secretary, two former DHS undersecretaries, and a former DHS chief of staff.

The revolving door joining DHS and the Chertoff Group had by the end of 2009 brought into consulting group four additional former high DHS officials and one former official with the National Security Agency. The presence of General Hayden and Larry Castro, the NSA’s former coordinator for Homeland Security Support, underscores the increasing links between the homeland security and intelligence sectors, both in government and in business.

Commenting in November 2009 on the most recent collection of former government officials that now are part of his team, Chertoff said: “By expanding the depth and breadth of the intellect and resources available to our clients, we will be uniquely positioned to assist them at a time when they need it most…,” pointing to “the myriad modern hazards, ranging from cyber threats and terrorism to natural disasters and pandemics” that threaten government and business.

Bringing their government experience and connections to the Chertoff Group are:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Runge, former DHS Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer.
  • Larry Castro, former NSA epresentative to DHS and the agency’s Coordinator for Homeland Security Support
  • Dr. Gary M. Shiffman, Professor former Chief of Staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Dr. J. Bennet Waters, former Deputy Assistant Administrator at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Chief of Staff at DHS’ Office of Health Affairs.
  • Nathaniel T. G. Fogg, former Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Counselor to the Administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The revolving door in the emerging national security complex swings both ways. Before joining the DHS Nathaniel Fogg was a management consultant with Booz Allen, a major defense, intelligence, and homeland security contractor.

Private contractors pervade DHS, where about one-third ($15 billion) of the annual budget goes to private firms providing goods and services..

See related:

Tom Barry, “Former Bush Security Chiefs Find Terrorism Obsession Can Be Profitable,” CIP’s Americas Program.

Tom Barry, “Not Systemic Failure, But Failed System,” Border Lines Blog.

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