“The DHS was really invis­ible after the Boston terror bomb­ings,” Stephen Flynn, director of the Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “This was the first terror attack like this since 9/​11 and nobody thought to ask – where’s home­land security?”

“Obvi­ously he’s got a strong back­ground in weighty issues of the war on terror,” Dr. Flynn says of Johnson. “What will chal­lenge him at DHS is that most of the heavy lifting in pro­tecting the nation is really at the state and local level – and in somehow get­ting the pri­vate sector that oper­ates crit­ical infra­struc­tures that are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­able to go along with mea­sures needed to increase security.”