High-Ranking DHS Official Resigns Two Days Before Major FEMA Reorganization

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Congressional Quarterly is reporting that George Foresman, the current DHS Undersecretary for Preparedness will submit his resignation this evening to the Department of Homeland Security. (Note: Subscription required.) The news comes just two days before DHS must meet a Congressional mandate for a major reorganization of the department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The bill, which Congress passed in response to Hurricane Katrina, took major chunks of DHS out of Foresman's Preparedness Directorate, including the office that oversees the handout of about $2 billion in grants to state and locals each year. Those divisions were given back to FEMA, which is beefed up by the bill.

U.S. News Associate Editor Angie C. Marek reported last November about tensions among DHS leaders over how best to handle the reorganization and Foresman's somewhat diminished role in the Department. The latest plan had him overseeing a new division that would include the cybersecurity office and US-VISIT, the department's program to gather biometrics from foreign visitors entering the United States.

Update: DHS just released a statement from Homeland Security Chief Chertoff confirming the resignation, which is not immediate.