(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- The Blauvelt Speaker Series presents former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts on Thursday, September 12 at 5:00pm. Doors open at 4:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.
Johnson served as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from December 2013 to January 2017, leading the third-largest cabinet department of the U.S. government, consisting of 230,000 personnel and 22 components, including TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Services, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, and FEMA. Johnson’s responsibilities as Secretary included counterterrorism, cybersecurity, aviation security, border security, port security, maritime security, protection of our national leaders, the detection of chemical, biological and nuclear threats to the homeland, and response to natural disasters.
In three years as Secretary of DHS, Johnson is credited with management reform of the Department, which brought about a more centralized approach to decision-making in the areas of budgets, acquisition, and overall policy. Johnson also raised employee morale across the Department, reflected in the September 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
Prior to this role, Johnson was General Counsel of the Department of Defense, from 2009 to 2012. In that position, he is credited as the legal architect for the U.S. military’s counterterrorism efforts in the Obama Administration. In 2010, Johnson co-authored the report that paved the way for the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Congress later that year.
In October 1998, Johnson was appointed by President Clinton to be General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force, and served in that position until January 2001. Earlier in his career, Johnson was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
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He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a graduate of Morehouse College (1979) and Columbia Law School (1982), and the recipient of nine honorary degrees.
Johnson now practices law again at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Johnson has been affiliated with Paul Weiss on and off since 1984, and was elected the firm’s first African American partner in 1994.
In addition, he is currently on the board of directors of Lockheed Martin and the Center for a New American Security, and is a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Since leaving public office, Johnson has testified before Congress three times, and is a frequent commentator about national and homeland security issues on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, and other news outlets.
In December 2018, Johnson received the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award, presented at the Reagan Presidential Library.
For this moderated lecture, Johnson will talk about Terrorism, Border Security and Immigration, Preparedness and Resilience, Cybersecurity, and looking to the future of homeland security.
The Grunin Center is located on the OCC Main Campus, on College Drive in Toms River, New Jersey.