Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary John Tien is stepping down from his post at the agency on July 20.

Tien has served as the deputy secretary at DHS since 2021. Previously, he served in the Obama administration on the National Security Council (NSC) as senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 to 2011, before becoming a managing director at Citigroup. Prior to his Citigroup stint, Tien spent 24 years on active duty in the U.S. Army and retired as a colonel.

“After 26 years of combined Federal service including three combat tours in Iraq and living apart from my family for the last two years, I have decided to return to Atlanta to re-join them there,” Tien said in a statement on June 20.

“I thank Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas for having the confidence in me to support my nomination to President Biden and even more so, to empower and enable me to ‘co-lead’ the department with him,” Tien added. “Indeed, we have co-led the department through two amazing, busy, and important years safeguarding our nation.”

Tien said it has been an honor to represent DHS within the U.S. interagency process, as well as in forums such as the National Security Council Deputies Committee, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Counterterrorism Center Board of Directors, and the President’s Management Council.

He has also served as a Priority Area Lead to advance the President’s Management Agenda’s (PMA) third priority: managing the business of government to build back better.

Additionally, Tien has attended important meetings of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – which is housed within DHS – such as Cybersecurity Advisory Committee meetings.

“Through the interagency these past two years, DHS has been a major contributor and often a lead Federal agency for some of the administration’s largest policy implementations,” he said. “For the past two years, it has also been equal parts exhilarating and humbling to have stood in front of our flag overseas and work with our global partners at multi-lateral meetings such as the G7 and Five Country Ministerials as well as bilaterally with many partners and allies to make America and the world safer and more humane.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.