Sep 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DHS chief of staff Karen Olick resigns


Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Karen Olick, the chief of staff to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced Monday she is leaving her post to pursue new opportunities, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as DHS faces several challenges, including welcoming tens of thousands of Afghan refugees to the U.S., as well as the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The big picture: Olick plans to leave her post at the end of the month, per Politico.

  • Jennifer Higgins, the associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will serve as temporary chief of staff until someone new is appointed.

What they're saying: "We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new Administration," Mayorkas said in an email obtained by Politico.

  • Olick, in a separate note, said, "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," per Politico.
  • DHS did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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