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United States Secretary of Homeland Security

United States Secretary of Homeland Security
PostUnited States Secretary
BodyHomeland Security
InsigniaUS Department of Homeland Security Seal.svg
Insigniasize100px
InsigniacaptionOfficial Seal
DepartmentUnited States Department of Homeland Security
IncumbentJanet Napolitano
IncumbentsinceJanuary 21, 2009
FirstTom Ridge
FormationJanuary 24, 2003
SuccessionEighteenth

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The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland and the safety of American citizens. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the Homeland Security Act following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new department consisted primarily of components transferred from other cabinet departments because of their role in homeland security, such as the Coast Guard, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It did not, however, include the FBI or the CIA.

On January 20, 2009, the Senate confirmed Barack Obama's appointment of Janet Napolitano to be the third Secretary of Homeland Security. To assure a smooth transition however, Michael Chertoff was asked not to resign until the morning of January 21, 2009.


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