Thursday, March 09, 2006

Department of Homeland Security gets "Deutsched"

I don't have anything against younger people advancing quickly in the world. However, I do expect that in government an individual will "earn one's stripes" before being appointed to a position requiring extensive management skills. Apparently, the Bush administration has different ideas, as they demonstrated with this fiasco in which 24 year old George Deutsch was giving orders at NASA.

Well, they've done it again. Via ThinkProgress comes information that the Bush administration has named Douglas L. Hoelscher, age 28 and with no previous management experience, executive director of the Homeland Security Advisory Committees.

Hoelscher has no management experience, a review of his professional credentials shows. He came to government in 2001 as a low-level White House staffer, arranging presidential travel, according to news reports. He earned $30,000 a year, salary documents show.

A department statement said that Hoelscher will provide "strategic counsel" to Chertoff and represent him before the committees. In so doing, Hoelscher will be contending with formidable voices in U.S. policy-making from the private sector, state and local government, and academia.
According to the DHS press release this is not one of those do nothing jobs and requires extensive management experience.

As Executive Director, Hoelscher will be Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s primary representative to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, more than 20 departmental boards and commissions, and two presidential committees – the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
What other qualifications might Mr. Hoelscher possess other than his batchelor's degree in political science from the University of Iowa and his job as a White House travel agent? Well, he was well connected in the Republican party. During the 2004 Republican National Convention Hoelscher shows up as the RNC delegation affairs chair. Also during the 2004 Presidential campaign he was employed by the RNC as a paid staffer.

Hoelscher is replacing a former Coast Guard officer with two master's degrees, one of them from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Some of the people Hoelscher will be dealing with are the top executives of some of the major corporations in America including Bell, Boeing and Microsoft, not to mention state governors.

One has to wonder how someone advances this fast with so little experience. Although I suppose it doesn't hurt to have a relative like this.

We wait for the next outstanding White House staffer to take on a task more befitting of yet untapped skills.

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