Thomas P. "Tom" Bossert serves as the Homeland Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, formally know as the assistant to the President for homeland security and counter-terrorism. He was appointed on December 27, 2016 and his role does not require Senate confirmation. He was the former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Previously, he also worked as the director of infrastructure protection policy in the White House in charge of managing critical infrastructure security of the U.S.
Bossert's position has been elevated by the Trump administration to the same rank as the National Security Advisor position currently held by Michael Flynn. The homeland security office of the Bush administration maintained its own staff; however, under President Obama, the homeland security staff were combined with the national security team and both reported to the National Security Advisor. Members of President Obama's national security team questioned whether Bossert is indeed taking up a more senior role than Lisa Monaco, the former Homeland Security Advisor to Obama, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. As the chairwoman of the Principals Committee of the Homeland Security Council, Monaco sat on the National Security Council and joined the National Security Advisor to attend daily national security briefings.
Concerns about cybersecurity spiked after computer systems of the Democratic National Committee were hacked during the 2016 presidential election. Promoting Bossert's rank "reflects the unwavering commitment President-elect Trump has to the safety and security of the nation, its people and territory," the transition team said in a statement. Bossert is tasked with monitoring domestic security matters while Flynn focuses on international security threats. Trump also said in a statement that Bossert "has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity challenges."
Bossert, 41, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997 with a BA in political science and economics and worked as an assistant to the chief counsel of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. In 2003, he earned his JD from George Washington University Law School and served as advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration. He later became deputy director and advised the Federal Emergency Management agency director and secretary of homeland security on congressional relations and legislative affairs.
Since 2005, Bossert has taken up multiple roles in the White House during the George W. Bush presidency, including director for infrastructure protection policy from 2005 to 2007, special assistant to the President and senior director for preparedness policy from 2007 to 2008 and deputy assistant to the President for homeland security from 2008 to 2009. He helped the Bush administration draft the 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security, which outlines the U.S. government's security plans following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Between 2013 and 2016, Bossert was a senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Before his new job in the Trump administration, he was the president of Civil Defense Solutions (CDS) where he has worked for seven years since August 2009. CDS is a private risk management consulting firm that provides risk assessment, policy development and compliance support services to private companies and the government.