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Alejandro Mayorkas Discusses DHS Workforce Initiatives, Cyber Posture

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Alejandro Mayorkas, president-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently discussed how he plans to support the department’s workforce. Mayorkas noted that he will work to provide DHS employees with essential tools to support success across the department,  Federal News Network reported on Wednesday. 

“If indeed I have the privilege of serving as the secretary of Homeland Security, I will make the wellbeing and morale of the brave and noble men and women of the department my highest priority,” Mayorkas said at his nomination hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In regard to DHS’ cybersecurity, Mayorkas noted that he plans to improve the department’s cyber posture. “[CISA] must strengthen the public-private partnership, not only for the benefit, of course, of the federal government, but for the benefit of the private sector itself,” Mayorkas said. The Senate has previously confirmed Mayorkas on three separate occasions as a U.S. attorney, USCIS director and DHS deputy secretary. 

“Once confirmed you will have a daunting job ahead of you, but you are a qualified and experienced leader,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). “There’s no question we need strong and stable leadership in the Department of Homeland Security more than ever. Over the last four years the department has endured some chaos, mismanagement and instability.”

During the Obama administration, Mayorkas served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with DHS between 2009 and 2013, then as deputy secretary with the department from 2013 to 2016. 

In 2016, Mayorkas became a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. In Nov. 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he would nominate Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security in his Cabinet.