Meet the next Secretary of Homeland Security
Jeh Charles Johnson (born September 11, 1957) is an American civil, criminal trial lawyer, and General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012 during the first Obama Administration. Johnson is a graduate of Morehouse College and Columbia Law School, and is grandson of noted sociologist and Fist University president Dr. Charles S. Johnson.
Johnson’s first name (pronounced “Jay”) is taken from a Liberian chief, who reportedly saved his grandfather’s life while Dr. Johnson was on a League of Nations mission to Liberia in 1930.
President Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as the next Homeland Security secretary, ABC News has learned.
“The president is selecting Johnson because he is one the most highly qualified and respected national security leaders, having served as the senior lawyer for the largest government agency in the world,” a senior administration official said. “During his tenure at the Department of Defense he was known for his sound judgment and counsel. “
For most of Obama’s first term, Johnson served as the Defense Department’s general counsel, reviewing and approving military operations before they were sent to the Defense Secretary and president for final decisions.
Johnson has called working for the Obama administration “the highlight of [his] professional life.”
“I have been on an incredible journey with Barack Obama … going back to November 2006 when he recruited me to the presidential campaign he was about to launch,” Johnson said in a speech at Yale Law School last year. “I remember thinking then, ‘This is a long-shot, but it will be exciting, historic, and how many times in my life will someone personally ask me to help him become president.”