Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Commend Senate on Confirmation of Critical DHS Leadership

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a statement following the confirmations of Suzanne E. Spaulding to be Under Secretary, Department of Homeland Security and John Roth to be Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security. The Senate confirmed both nominees by voice vote:

Chairman Carper: “I’d like to thank my colleagues for filling these positions, which have responsibilities critical to the Department of Homeland Security’s mission. I would also like to thank these nominees for their willingness to serve our nation. I believe they represent the types of qualities we want to see in our government leaders.”

Dr. Coburn: “I am pleased the Senate has filled these two important vacancies at DHS.  Both are instrumental to facilitating vigorous oversight of the agency.”

Suzanne E. Spaulding, Under Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Chairman Carper: “The National Protection and Programs Directorate is the component charged with the responsibility of securing our nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber attacks. Leading a sector with such a vital mission is no easy task. That’s why I am pleased that my colleagues have confirmed a strong leader in Suzanne Spaulding. Ms. Spaulding has a rich background in both government service and the private sector.  As the Acting Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, she has brought a direct and engaged management approach to some of the Department’s most important missions and she is well-prepared to fill the role permanently. Her distinguished career, intellect, and professionalism will serve her well in this next step, and I look forward to working with her on efforts to enhance our nation’s defenses on our cyber and other critical systems.”

Dr. Coburn: “I look forward to working with Under Secretary Suzanne Spaulding on increasing transparency at DHS and establishing targeted, risked-based security mechanisms that allocate resources where they are most needed.  Her previous experience at the department also makes her an asset in improving cybersecurity for the federal government’s own critical IT systems – something that is long overdue.”

John Roth, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security

Chairman Carper: “In an agency as large and important as the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Inspector General is a critical ally in the fight to ensure that taxpayer funds are protected and to deter or punish possible impropriety.   It is vital to have a permanent, Senate confirmed leader in this office to ensure that it has the authority and legitimacy needed to conduct comprehensive investigations. Fortunately, today, the Senate confirmed John Roth as Inspector General – a position that’s been without Senate confirmed leadership for three years. The role of Inspector General a demanding and important job but I believe Mr. Roth is well qualified for the challenges before him. His impressive career and commitment to public service, as well as his intellect, work ethic and integrity, are badly needed in a role that can be difficult and pose unique challenges. I look forward to working with him as he works to strengthen the Office of Inspector General and, with it, the Department of Homeland Security.”

Dr. Coburn:  “DHS needs a strong IG to conduct investigations and shed light on its many programs.  As DHS IG, John Roth will be a valuable asset for whistleblowers, the Committee, and Congress alike in uncovering waste, fraud, and abuse within the department. I look forward to building off his findings with legislation that fixes the problems at DHS.”