DHS secretary’s chief of staff resigns

Karen Olick, chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced on Monday that she would be stepping down from her position at the end of the month.

As Politico first reported, Olick wrote in an email, “Though too often underappreciated by our fellow citizens, I am continually struck by how many millions of Americans sleep in safety every night because so many at DHS do not sleep.”

In a separate email, Mayorkas informed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials that Olick “has decided to resign her position and pursue new opportunities. We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new Administration.”

Following Olick’s departure from DHS, Jennifer Higgins, associate director of refugee, asylum and international operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will temporarily serve as chief of staff until a replacement is appointed, Politico reported.

The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment.

Olick is a career political operative, having worked for the federal government for more than 20 years. She most recently worked as an official for SKDK, the Democratic-centric political communications firm.

Olick’s resignation comes as DHS deals with the influx of migrants at the southern U.S. border as well as the resettlement of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.

Last month the department announced that President Biden had tasked it with resettling the thousands Afghan refugees evacuated out of Afghanistan, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Robert J. Fenton Jr. appointed by Mayorkas to lead the effort.

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Alejandro Mayorkas Joe Biden United States Department of Homeland Security United States Secretary of Homeland Security
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