Message from Secretary Chertoff: Resignation of Deputy Secretary Jackson

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National Press Release
Monday, September 24, 2007

WASHINGTON - It is with regret that I inform you of the resignation of Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson from the Department, effective Oct. 26, 2007.

Deputy Secretary Jackson has served the Department as its chief operating officer since coming to DHS in January 2005. He is the longest serving Deputy Secretary at this Department and has devoted enormous energy, talent, and thought to making it a stronger, more integrated, and mature organization. He is a remarkable chief operating officer, my most trusted counselor, and a close personal friend.

The Deputy Secretary is an outstanding public servant. He came to this Department after his tenure of more than two years as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Transportation. Among his many achievements, he helped to stand up the new Transportation Security Administration and managed the recovery efforts for the nation’s aviation industry after 9/11. He has served in two other administrations, as Special Assistant to the President for Cabinet Liaison and later Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush, and in various capacities at the Department of Education during President Reagan’s administration.

The Deputy Secretary will leave this Department having made an enduring impact on our homeland security. At this Department, he was fundamental in invigorating our operating components, fusing our intelligence capabilities, building a new FEMA, and managing the response to the disrupted airline plot of August 2006. He brought tremendous focus, discipline, and planning to Department-wide operations, budgets, and polices, and he significantly advanced the integration of our component agencies. He is widely respected throughout the Congress, by state and local officials, and international allies.

Our homeland is more secure and better prepared as result of Deputy Secretary Jackson’s tireless service, and on behalf of all Americans, I offer him our deep gratitude. I respect and admire his difficult decision to move on, and I look forward to our continued friendship.