Borras elevated to acting deputy secretary at DHS

Thursday - 9/26/2013, 7:55pm EDT

Rafael Borras is the new acting deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

An administration official confirmed the White House designated Borras yesterday. Borras moves to acting deputy secretary after serving the last three-plus years as the DHS undersecretary for management. He takes over for Rand Beers, who became acting deputy secretary after Jane Holl Lute stepped down in May.

President Barack Obama's nominee for deputy secretary, Alexander Mayorkas, is awaiting Senate confirmation. Mayorkas is under pressure from some members of the Senate and faces an internal watchdog investigation over his actions as commissioner of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

DHS now has an acting secretary, Beers, and a deputy secretary. In fact, 10 of the top 12 DHS leadership positions are held by acting officials.

Chris Cumminskey, the deputy undersecretary for management, will become acting undersecretary for management with Borras's promotion. As undersecretary of management, Borras has focused his attention on bringing the agency closer together and chipping away at the silos that have built up over the last decade.

He said in a September 2012 interview that DHS is a more interdependent organization, which increased its chances of success and reduced its risk.

His major accomplishments include instituting a program performance and risk assessment approach, creating a roadmap to consolidate financial management systems and trying to address workforce morale issues.

DHS continues to struggle with acquisition coordination and oversight, but Borras recently told Congress each component will have an acquisition executive to improve contracting oversight.

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