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Press Release - President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Key Members for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

April 12, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate key leadership for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; John Tien for Deputy Secretary, Jen Easterly for Director of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Ur Jaddou for Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Chris Magnus for Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Jonathan Meyer for General Counsel, and Robert Silvers for Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans.

John Tien, Nominee for Deputy Secretary

John Tien previously served in the Obama Administration as the National Security Council Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009-2011. Since 2011, Tien has been a Citigroup managing director. Prior to joining Citi, Tien was a combat arms officer for 24 years in the active duty U.S. Army and retired in 2011 as a Colonel. He is a veteran of three combat tours in Iraq to include being the Task Force 2-37 M1A1 Abrams Tank Battalion Commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006-2007. His other military assignments include staff and leadership positions in Germany, California, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, and Texas. He served as a National Security Council Director for Iraq in the Bush Administration, and as a White House Fellow in the Office of the United States Trade Representative during the Clinton Administration. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Valorous Unit Award. From 1986-1987, he was the first Asian American to ever serve as West Point's First Captain and Brigade Commander, the United States Military Academy's top ranked cadet position. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from West Point, an M.A. from Oxford University where he was also a Rhodes Scholar, and was a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He resides in Atlanta with his wife Tracy Tien, their two daughters, Amanda and Rebecca.

Jen Easterly, Nominee for Director of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Jen Easterly is Head of Firm Resilience and the Fusion Resilience Center at Morgan Stanley, responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to operational risks to the Firm. A member of the Firm’s Technology Operating Committee and a Trustee of the Morgan Stanley Foundation, Easterly joined Morgan Stanley in 2017 to build and lead its Cybersecurity Fusion Center, the operational cornerstone of the Firm’s cyber defense strategy. Most recently, she served as the Cyber Policy Lead for the Biden-Harris Transition Team. Earlier in her career, Easterly served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism and as the Deputy for Counterterrorism at the National Security Agency. A two-time recipient of the Bronze Star, Easterly retired from the U.S. Army after more than twenty years of service in intelligence and cyber operations, including tours of duty in Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Responsible for standing up the Army’s first cyber battalion, Easterly was also instrumental in the design and creation of United States Cyber Command. Easterly is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior International Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, and an Aspen Institute Finance Leaders Fellow. A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Easterly holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is the recipient of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation American Hostage Freedom Award and the Bradley W. Snyder Changing the Narrative Award.

Ur Jaddou, Nominee for Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services

Ur Mendoza Jaddou has two decades of experience in immigration law, policy, and administration. Most recently, she was the Director of DHS Watch, a project of America’s Voice, where she shined a light on immigration policies and administration that failed to adhere to basic principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability. She is an adjunct professor of law at American University, Washington College of Law and counsel at Potomac Law Group, PLLC. Previously, Jaddou was the Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from June 2014 to January 2017. Jaddou’s experience on immigration policy began as counsel to U.S. House of Representative Zoe Lofgren (2002-2007) and later as Chief Counsel to the House Immigration Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Lofgren (2007-2011). Jaddou has also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional, Global and Functional Affairs in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (2012-2014). Jaddou is a daughter of immigrants – a mother from Mexico and a father from Iraq – born and raised in Chula Vista, California. She received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from UCLA School of Law.

Chris Magnus, Nominee for Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection

Chris Magnus is currently the police chief in Tucson, Arizona, a diverse city close to the U.S.-Mexican border. His lengthy career in public safety includes coming up through the ranks of the Lansing, Michigan Police Department, and serving as police chief in the cities of Fargo, North Dakota, Richmond, California, and Tucson, Arizona. In each of these cities Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability. During his time in Richmond, Magnus played a key role in rebuilding community trust in law enforcement and dramatically reducing the number of shootings and homicides. In Tucson, Magnus implemented de-escalation training, sentinel event review processes, and programs to promote officer health and wellness. Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border, he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues. Magnus grew up in Lansing, Michigan, the son of an immigrant from Oslo, Norway. He received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and his master’s degree in Labor Relations from Michigan State University. Magnus attended the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. He has been with his husband, Terrance Cheung, for 15 years.

Jonathan Meyer, Nominee for General Counsel

Jonathan Meyer is currently a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Washington, DC. Before entering private practice, he served as Deputy General Counsel and Senior Counselor at the United States Department of Homeland Security, where he advised the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and other senior leaders of the 240,000-employee agency. Prior to DHS, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, Special Deputy General Counsel of Amtrak, and Counsel to Senator Joe Biden on the Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Meyer holds degrees from Harvard College, Columbia University School of Law, and Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. Meyer is a recipient of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Outstanding Service Medal, the U.S. Secret Service Director’s Honor Award, a Department of Justice Award for Outstanding and Dedicated Service, and numerous other awards and honors.

Robert Silvers, Nominee for Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans

Robert Silvers is a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings LLP and an experienced leader in national and homeland security. Silvers advises companies and boards of directors on cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection, and other challenges at the intersection of business and security. Silvers served as the Obama administration’s Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was responsible for engagement on cyber defense with the private sector, the federal government’s response during significant cyber incidents, and building diplomatic coalitions to confront the most challenging issues involving security and digital innovation. Silvers previously served in other positions at DHS, including as Deputy Chief of Staff, managing execution of policy and operational priorities for the 240,000 dedicated employees across the Department’s 22 agencies and offices. Silvers received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian of the International Relations program. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Silvers is an adjunct professor in the M.S. in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy Program co-offered by NYU Law School and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. A native of New York City, Silvers lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their eight-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Key Members for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349501

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