Inexperienced 28-Year-Old Bush Staffer Appointed to Critical Homeland Security Post

The Bush administration has appointed 28-year-old former White House staffer Doug Hoelscher as the executive director of the Homeland Security Advisory Committees.

In his new position, Hoelscher will gather expert advice “on behalf of the president and the Homeland Security secretary” from 20 other advisory boards covering “key areas of homeland security, including threats to infrastructure and preventing terrorist attacks that use weapons of mass destruction.”

His experience?

Hoelscher has no management experience, a review of his professional credentials shows. He came to government in 2001 as a low-level White House staffer, arranging presidential travel, according to news reports. He earned $30,000 a year, salary documents show.


He discussed his job as President Bush’s travel arranger with the Des Moines Register in 2002:

Doug Hoelscher, a University of Iowa political science major and native of Williams, …is living out his dream at age 25. He works as a political coordinator for the president, dealing mostly with Bush’s domestic travel. “Ever since a young age I’ve had an interest in politics,” he said.

Despite Hoelscher’s apparent total lack of professional management or security experience, the press release announcing his appointment praises his qualifications and claims he will now be providing “strategic counsel” to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff:

“The department relies heavily on the expertise and advice of our advisory committees,” said Stewart Baker, Assistant Secretary for Policy. “Outside perspectives benefit the policy and decision making process, and the Administration has named a qualified and talented professional to cultivate these partnerships. Doug will provide strategic counsel to the Secretary and increase overall coordination between department leadership and our homeland security partners, and I look forward to his contributions and counsel.”