The Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) has been reduced to just leadership as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas let go of the other members in order to clear way for a “new model” for the panel.
Thirty-two members of the council were fired at the end of March. Chairman Bill Bratton, the former NYPD commissioner, and Vice Chairwoman Karen Tandy, former DEA administrator, remain on the council along with Chair Emeritus William Webster, former FBI and CIA director.
Members let go included former acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli and former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tom Homan.
In a March 26 letter to HSAC members first obtained by Politico, Mayorkas expressed “profound gratitude” for their commitment to DHS but said he is “considering how the HSAC can bring the greatest value to the Department and how the expertise, judgment, and counsel of its Members can be harnessed more effectively to advance the Department’s mission.”
“I expect to work closely with the HSAC and to rely on its Members to help guide the Department through a period of change,” he wrote, adding that for an “orderly transition to a new model” for the HSAC terms for current members were ended that day.
Mayorkas said he would “reconstitute the HSAC in the next few weeks, once the new model has been developed,” with current leaders still in place.
The secretary left the door open that some of the HSAC members, whose appointments spanned different administrations, might be reappointed.
“I look forward to working with you in the future, whether as a member of a redesigned and reconstituted HSAC or in a different capacity, as we together seek to advance the Department’s noble mission,” Mayorkas said.