White House reinforces DHS leadership

President George W. Bush has nominated two officials to lead Homeland Security Department agencies, a move that helps fill some of the vacancies left by a wholesale exodus of the department's senior leadership last year.

Bush nominated Ralph Basham, a 29-year veteran of the Secret Service, to be commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Basham formerly was director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, special agent in charge of the service's Cleveland and Washington field offices, and head of the vice presidential protective division.

Basham also was chief of staff of DHS' Transportation Security Administration.

Bush also nominated Mark Sullivan to be director of the Secret Service, following a successful confirmation of Basham. Sullivan is a 23-year Secret Service veteran, having served as assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations. Basham appointed Sullivan to be deputy director of the Secret Service Jan. 27.

DHS secretary Michael Chertoff praised both men as 'vastly experienced and highly decorated members of the federal law enforcement community, who have each made significant contributions to our nation's security.'

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