Tom Bossert, former Deputy Assistant for Homeland Security to President George W. Bush, will serve as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism in the Trump White House, the transition team has announced. In this role, informally referred to as Homeland Security Advisor, Bossert will serve as the President’s chief White House advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism matters. The Trump transition team has shared that the position will be “elevated and restored to its independent status.” Unlike his predecessors in the Obama Administration, who served as subordinates to the National Security Advisor, Bossert will hold equal status to incoming National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn. The Trump transition team has emphasized that Bossert will focus on “domestic and transnational security” matters, while Flynn will focus on “international security challenges.”
Bossert is the current President of CDS Consulting, a risk management advisory firm, and a Cyber Risk Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a leading global think tank focused on international affairs. A co-author of the 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security and an early participant in the development of US cybersecurity policy, he has indicated that the safeguarding of critical US infrastructure from cyber threats, and due consideration of privacy and civil liberties concerns in creating new cyber doctrine, will be top priorities.
Although Bossert’s position does not require confirmation, his selection has received widespread praise from senior officials who served in the Bush 43 White House, all members of the so-called GOP establishment. This group of supporters includes two of President Bush’s former Homeland Security Advisors – Ken Wainstein and Fran Townsend. Additionally, former Bush National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley is reported to have recommended Bossert for the position. GOP national security policymakers on Capitol Hill have generally applauded the Bossert pick as well, in particular because he will bring valuable Executive Branch experience to the incoming Trump national security team.
Overall, in comparison to some of President-elect Trump’s picks for other key Administration posts, the Bossert selection is considered non-controversial.