Bush nominates retired admiral to head DHS directorate

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President Bush on June 27 nominated Jay Cohen, a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, to lead the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate, according to a White House announcement.

If confirmed, Cohen would be the permanent replacement for Charles McQueary, who left the department in February. Cohen would take the reins from Dr. Jeffrey Runge, DHS’ chief medical officer, who has served as acting undersecretary.

Cohen served as the Navy’s chief of naval research in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) from June 2000 to late 2005. He managed science and technology programs for the Navy and Marine Corps.

Before leading ONR, Cohen served as deputy director of operations for the Joint Staff, director of operational support for the director of naval intelligence at the Pentagon and deputy chief of Navy legislative affairs.

“If confirmed, Rear Adm. Cohen will bring critical leadership to this important directorate and vast scientific expertise to the entire department,” DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement.

A decorated officer with more than 35 years’ experience, Cohen is a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned joint master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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