Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that he is stepping down effective Oct. 28.
Mayorkas announced his departure and thanked the department in a staff email sent out Oct. 5 and obtained by Federal News Radio.
“I began my government service as a federal prosecutor, a position I held for nearly twelve years, and I have been a member of our department for nearly seven years,” he said. “I have cherished every moment of public service. Thank you for making it so.”
DHS also sent out a press release with a statement from Secretary Jeh Johnson and some details on Mayorkas’ career and achievements.
“Over the last 34 months, Ali has spearheaded much of our Unity of Effort campaign and employee engagement initiatives, and has taken a leading role on issues ranging from immigration to cybersecurity,” said Johnson in the statement. “His legacy as deputy secretary will be the number of things we did to improve how this department functions, and the significant increase in employee satisfaction we saw this year as a result. We are all grateful for Ali’s many contributions.”
Lisa Monaco, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, also offered her thoughts.
“His Department’s mission — keeping America safe — is as complex as it is clear, and it requires resolute, talented professionals ready to tackle the challenges we face today while preparing for the new tests of tomorrow. Ali is exactly that type of professional, and he proved it time and again,” she said in a statement.
Mayorkas has served as DHS’ second-in-command since Dec. 23, 2013. During that time, he helped to establish DHS’ role in federal cybersecurity, including information sharing, data privacy protection, and negotiating cybersecurity agreements and partnerships between the federal government and private companies, Israel and China.
He also led numerous counterterrorism efforts, including enhancing border security, leveraging social media, and instituting sharing of intelligence between federal, state and local law enforcement.
Before taking on the role of DHS deputy secretary, Mayorkas served as director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for four years. While at USCIS he oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He also established the practice of publishing policy memoranda for public comment.
“Under Secretary for Management Russ Deyo will serve as acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security beginning Oct. 29,” Johnson said. “Russ has over 30 years of management experience in both the government and private sector. I have the utmost confidence in his leadership and commitment.”
Daisy Thornton is Federal News Network’s digital managing editor. In addition to her editing responsibilities, she covers federal management, workforce and technology issues. She is also the commentary editor; email her your letters to the editor and pitches for contributed bylines.