A top official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday that she would be leaving the department at the end of this month, according to a report.
Karen Olick, chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “has decided to resign her position and pursue new opportunities,” Mayorkas told DHS officials in an email obtained by Politico. “We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new Administration,” he added.
In a separate email, Olick praised her soon-to-be-former colleagues, writing: “Though too often underappreciated by our fellow citizens, I am continually struck by how many millions of Americans sleep in safety every night because so many at DHS do not sleep.”
Jennifer Higgins, the current associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will step in as a temporary chief of staff until a new appointment is made, according to officials in the department.
During the busy time for the department, one career DHS official said that some DHS career employees have been not happy that career people with critical security positions have had to go into the office while some senior political appointees in the front office haven’t gone in that much.
“It’s impacted morale and caused tension that the political people are setting rules and the rules don’t always apply to them,” the official said. A DHS spokesperson said that the agency is still operating on “maximum telework flexibility to all” guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO
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