Politics
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Secret Service prostitution scandal. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Secret Service prostitution scandal. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  

Senior Homeland Security staffers have no law enforcement experience

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, has presided over the hiring of at least four senior staffers and advisers who have no law enforcement experience but align politically with the president.

Jordan Grossman was a special adviser and deputy to the deputy chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, for instance, yet his resume shows no law enforcement experience. Before Grossman got his post in January 2009, he was a “special assistant” at the Obama-Biden presidential transition team after working for Obama’s 2008 election campaign.

Before that, Grossman worked as a research assistant at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a communications think tank at the University of Pennsylvania. Grossman also interned for the left-wing Center for American Progress, and for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

He lists no law enforcement experience on his resume, even though the Obama administration had hired him into a senior law enforcement role. Grossman has since left his government position for to attend Harvard Law School. *

Vladimir Skoric serves as a “special assistant” to the Homeland Security “deputy under secretary for cybersecurity.” Skoric began his career in politics in May 2007 as a “volunteer coordinator” at Obama For America. He then interned for Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and served as Obama For America’s Washington, D.C. youth director.

Skoric has also worked for The Small Business Project, Inc., as a business development analyst for a little more than two years. That organization describes itself as a company that “brings knowledge and expertise in starting small business programs to intermediaries, which in turn serve to strengthen small businesses locally,” focusing specifically on “providing forestry sector expertise.” Its mission does not have anything to do with law enforcement.

Even so, Skoric scored a senior level position in Obama’s Homeland Security Department. (RELATED: Homeland Security stalls Florida voter clean-up efforts)

Chris Stelmarski describes his Homeland Security Department work as “digital strategy.” Before landing in the upper echelons of the Obama administration’s law enforcement headquarters, he worked as a freelance photographer for Penn Ave Photography, and as a political strategist for Blue State Digital, a political campaign firm that helped Obama win the 2008 election. Before that, Stelmarski worked as a technology staffer for Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s 2006 campaign.

Like the others, Stelmarski lists no law enforcement experience on his resume. And like the others, the Obama administration hired him to take a senior Homeland Security job.

The Daily Caller recently reported on the case of Nate Snyder, the department’s Counterterrorism Working Group staff and CVE [Countering Violent Extremism] Working Group lead.

Snyder has had his current Homeland Security post since March 2011, according to his profile on the LinkedIn social networking website. He was previously the department’s deputy White House liaison.

Before joining the Obama administration, Snyder worked for the Service Employees International Union and for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Snyder also lists no law enforcement experience on his resume.

He attracted attention on May 1 for tweeting out praise for left-wing “May Day” protests. After TheDC first reported on the incident, Snyder’s Twitter account was locked to outsiders and the tweet was deleted.

Spokespersons for the Department of Homeland Security have not responded to TheDC’s requests for comment on why Napolitano’s department hires people with no law enforcement experience into senior law enforcement positions.

*UPDATE: Within minutes of The Daily Caller publishing this article, Grossman updated his LinkedIn page to reflect the fact he no longer works for the Department of Homeland Security. It’s unclear exactly why he left the position — it appears as though it was so he could focus on his Harvard Law School studies — but he left Obama’s Department of Homeland Security in June of last year. He had presented himself as a current Obama DHS employee until at least Sunday of this week on his LinkedIn page.

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