DHS secretary named designated survivor during SOTU
© Greg Nash

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson is the designated survivor for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and will not attend the speech at the Capitol, the White House said.


One Cabinet-level official is kept away from the speech each year in an undisclosed location, a practice dating back to the Cold War. The speech is typically attended by the vice president, Supreme Court justices and members of Congress.

The “survivor” would be ready to take charge if disaster strikes and the presidential line of succession is wiped out.