By Justin Sink - 01/03/14 06:08 PM EST
Rand Beers, the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will move to the White House as a top counterterrorism aide, an administration official said Friday.
Beers will serve as the deputy to Lisa Monaco, who is the assistant to the president for Homeland Security.
Before that, he worked as the department's undersecretary for National Protection and Programs. In that role, Beers served as Napolitano's top adviser on departmental programs designed to reduce the risks of terrorism and natural disasters. He was also the national security adviser to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
In 2008, Beers came under fire for comments he made about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a Center for American Progress event.
During a question and answer session, Beers said McCain's national security perspective was “sadly limited” because “he was in isolation essentially for many of those years and did not experience the turmoil here or the challenges that were involved for those of us who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.”
Former Bush senior adviser Karl Rove called for an apology and blasted the comments as “unbelievable” and “pretty outrageous” during an appearance on Fox News.
In a message to DHS employees obtained by the Washington Post, which first reported Beers's move, Johnson said Beers would be “greatly missed” at the department.
“We will continue to benefit from his leadership and expertise as he transitions into the role of deputy assistant to the president for homeland security,” he said. “There is no one more suitable for this position. We wish Rand all the best as he continues his lifetime of service and commitment to protecting our nation.”