Dezenski to leave DHS next week
Elaine Dezenski, a top Department of Homeland Security official who has played a large role in shaping cargo security policy, has resigned.
Dezenski confirmed Thursday that she plans to leave her post as acting assistant secretary for policy development in the Office of Policy, Planning and International Affairs on March 31.
She has been involved in all aspects of the department, including immigration and border control, airline passenger security and cargo security.
She previously was assistant secretary for policy planning in the former Border and Transportation Security Directorate, which was disbanded by DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to eliminate an extra management layer and allow agencies to report directly to the secretary’s office. BTS policy functions and personnel were shifted to the policy office, which is headed by Stewart Baker.
Dezenski was promoted from deputy assistant secretary for policy planning to replace Stewart Verdery one year ago. In her various roles she has played a key role developing the department’s national cargo security strategy, container security standards, mechanical seal requirements for containers, and air cargo security rules. There have been many complaints from industry and Congress that the department has been too slow in implementing these and other security measures.
'She is the heart and soul of our policy office,' said Baker, DHS assistant secretary for policy and international affairs. 'She got me through my first months' after joining DHS last year.
Meanwhile, the department did announce the departure of Janet Hale as undersecretary for management, effective in early May. Hale was with the department at its inception three years ago and was responsible for merging the budget and management, systems for the 22 offices and agencies that were combined under one roof. The new performance based human resources system, known as Max HR, has been resisted by unions representing front line employees.
Chief Financial Officer Andrew Maner left the department earlier this month to return to the private sector.