The UN’s Loss is the Department of Homeland Security’s Gain

Jane Holl Lute*, a retired U.S. army officer who has stewarded UN peacekeeping through one of its fastest periods of growth, will leave UN for the United States Department of Homeland Security. She will serve as the Deputy Secretary to Governor Janet Napolitano.

This is the UN’s loss. Lute is a brilliant logistician who managed the day-to-day operations of the second-largest deployed military force in the world. Since August, she has headed the new UN Office of Peace-building Support.

This is the UN’s loss. But in criticizing the pick, the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano reveals that he knows precious little about Lute’s role at the UN.

Homeland Security expert thinks Lute is an odd pick. “She doesn’t have the right skill set,” said Carafano, a fellow with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “And she knows nothing about the issues.”

Carafano said the Homeland Security deputy secretary needs to be someone who knows how to manage massive bureaucracies like the department. “She’s going to have a really incredibly steep learning curve,” he said. [emphasis mine]

She just left a job managing a larger and more complex bureaucracy than DHS. So, while I lament the fact that the United Nations is losing such a talent, I’m confident that she will excel in her new post.

Here is an oldie but goodie of Jane Holl Lute from the UN Dispatch archives.

* Jane Holl Lute was formerly affiliated with the United Nations Foundation. As regular readers know, UN Dispatch enjoys the support of the UN Foundation.