Arif Alikhan is appointed as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security
The Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has appointed Arif Alikhan as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development. He will be joining the DHS within a couple of weeks according to the press office of the DHS which also stated that the position does not require Senate confirmation hearings.
This is the first major appointment of a Muslim by Obama administration, although there has been a couple of other appointments to much smaller positions.
According to the DHS press release the Secretary said: “Today, I am proud to make two key personnel announcements for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—President Obama’s intent to nominate David Heyman as Assistant Secretary for Policy and my appointment of Arif Alikhan as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development. Both individuals bring a broad and impressive array of experience in national security, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism to the Department.
Arif comes from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s office, where he served as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety. As a key adviser to the Mayor, he has led the City’s efforts to develop homeland security, emergency management and law enforcement initiatives, including operational oversight of Los Angeles Police, Fire and Emergency Management departments. He is a former federal prosecutor and senior advisor to the U.S. Attorney General, and has partnered extensively with local, state and federal agencies,” said Secretary Napolitano.
Before serving as Deputy Mayor, Alikhan was a career prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1997-2006. During that time, he served as Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Crimes Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the national Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program for the Department of Justice. Alikhan holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School and a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.
Muslim Democrats welcome Alikhan’s appointment.