Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady is the latest official forced to resign in President Trump’s staff shakeup.
Grady started her third-in-command post on Aug. 8, 2017. She was currently acting deputy secretary and should have been next in line to replace departing Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; Trump instead picked Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to serve in the acting role.
Nielsen, whose last day is today, tweeted, “Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady has offered the President her resignation, effective tomorrow. For the last two years, Claire has served @DHSgov w excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS – a steady force and a knowledgeable voice.”
“Claire has led the men and women of DHS who support our operational staff. Her sound leadership and effective oversight have impacted every DHS office and employee and made us stronger as a Department. Clair has had a remarkable career in public service – 28 years at the Departments of Homeland Security & Defense – that is coming to a close. I am thankful for Claire’s expertise, dedication & friendship & am filled w gratitude for her exemplary service to DHS & to our country. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” she added.
CNN reported that, as the administration irons out the new line of succession at DHS today, Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske is expected to be named acting deputy secretary. The Associated Press reported that Grady’s departure is not voluntary.
In her undersecretary role, Grady oversaw a budget of $60 billion and a DHS workforce of 240,000. She was previously director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy for the Department of Defense and served in several other positions at DHS. From 2013 to 2015, she was deputy assistant commandant for Acquisition, and Director of Acquisition Services at the Coast Guard. She also served as USCG’s head of contracting activity from 2007-2013.
“I worry a little bit about what’s going on right now because of how it’s going to affect all of the lines of businesses that fall under the undersecretary of management… there’s a lot of interrelationships that people count on,” former DHS Chief Security Officer Greg Marshall told HSToday.
Trump tweeted Sunday evening that Nielsen was out at DHS. On Friday, he suddenly withdrew his nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a move that reportedly was prompted by Trump senior advisor and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller.
“We’re going in a little different direction. Ron’s a good man,” Trump told reporters Friday. “But we’re going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction.”
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Miller is also “eyeing the removal” of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Francis Cissna.
Secret Service Director Tex Alles was also replaced this week with James Murray, assistant director of the office of protective operations at the agency.