President Taps ISC West Speaker Kerik to Lead Homeland Security


Bernard Kerik, who was the keynote speaker of International
Security Conference (ISC) West in March, has been nominated
by President Bush to head the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) as secretary of homeland security. Kerik,
who was police commissioner of New York City during the
9/11 attacks, still needs to be confirmed by Congress
before he can take office.

Kerik, who got his start as a private security guard, has
had a familiarity with the electronic security industry
with his appearances at ISC West and this year’s ASIS Int’l
expo. Kerik had already served in the Bush Administration,
having been tapped in 2003 to go to Baghdad to help form
and train the new Iraqi police force. Kerik had most
recently been a partner in the consulting firm formed by
former New York Mayoraid=1791&sid=0> Rudy Giuliani, who according to CNN had
lobbied President Bush to give Kerik the position.

“His broad practical hands-on experience makes Bernie
superbly qualified to lead the Department of Homeland
Security,” Bush said when announcing Kerik’s appointment at
the White House Dec. 3. Kerik would take over for the DHS’
first leader, Tom Ridge, who announced his resignation on
Nov. 30.

During his keynote
address at ISC West
, Kerik implored security
professionals in the audience to stay vigilant about
terror. “We can’t stop this war because they won’t stop.
Nobody planned for what happened on September 11th,” Kerik
said. “We have to plan now and this is where everyone in
here comes in.”

NOTE: Kerik withdrew his name from consideration on Dec. 10 and will not run the DHS. Click here for the story.

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