DHS undersecretary Foresman prepares to leave

Homeland Security Department secretary Michael Chertoff today accepted the resignation of George Foresman, undersecretary for preparedness, the department said.

In accepting Foresman's resignation with 'regret,' Chertoff cited his work in improving the security of national IT, telecommunications and interoperability, as well as other aspects of infrastructure protection and risk management.

Information on Foresman's future plans was not immediately available. Foresman will leave DHS 'in the coming weeks,' according to Chertoff's prepared statement.

Foresman had held the preparedness directorate top job since Dec. 18, 2005. Earlier, he worked as Virginia's senior adviser to the governor for preparedness and homeland security. His executive jobs in emergency preparedness included work as the vice chairman of the Gilmore Commission, which submitted five annual reports on terrorism readiness to Congress between 1998 and 2003.

But the preparedness directorate has been shrinking of late. Congress in 2006 directed that FEMA report directly Chertoff as a stand-alone entity. FEMA also is scheduled to begin distributing billions of dollars in preparedness grants to states and localities, a task previously performed by the preparedness directorate. The reorganization is scheduled to occur within days.

Also, while Chertoff has proposed moving the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program under a newly created directorate, which would have been overseen by Foresman, the House Homeland Security Committee approved an amendment this week that may delay the move.

Foresman worked for more than 22 years in emergency management, law enforcement and related fields at several levels.

Writer Alice Lipowicz contributed to this article.

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