Trump names Coast Guard official as new homeland security adviser

President Donald Trump has picked Coast Guard Rear Adm. Doug Fears to be his new homeland security adviser, the White House said today.

Fears, a former Coast Guard Atlantic region chief of staff, has been serving as acting homeland security adviser since mid-May. Prior to that, he was special assistant to the president and senior director for resilience policy at the National Security Council.

Fears replaces Tom Bossert, who left when John Bolton became Trump’s new national security adviser in early April.

“Doug Fears brings more than three decades of experience across a range of vital homeland security areas including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and disaster response, to the NSC,” Bolton said in a statement.

Bolton has spent his first few months reorganizing the NSC. He downgraded the homeland security adviser to be a deputy assistant to the president who reports to him. And he eliminated the post of special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator.

Bolton said Fears would be “my point person on an array of vital tasks,” including supervising the NSC cyber team and managing the federal government’s disaster response activities.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news that Fears had received the role on a permanent basis, said that Bossert’s higher rank — equal to Bolton’s predecessor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster — “often led to differences” between them “over how to handle cybersecurity and other policy matters.”Prior to serving as chief of staff to the head of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area Command, Fears commanded the Coast Guard cutter Hamilton, led the Guard’s Office of Law Enforcement and worked on Central America policy at the NSC.

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