FAS | Government Secrecy | News ||| Index | Search | Join FAS

June 16, 1999

Jayne Brady, 202/586-5806


U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today named General Eugene E. Habiger as the Director of a new high-level Office of Security and Emergency Operations. Habiger, who has been commander in chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, retired from the United States Air Force in 1998.

"After conducting a broad search we selected General Habiger because he has the experience, expertise and determination to change the security culture at DOE and establish the authority and responsibility that's been missing," said Secretary Richardson. "General Habiger understands nuclear weapons security. As commander in chief of the U.S. Strategic Command he had direct responsibility for the security and effectiveness of the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal."

"Strong security is based on a foundation of clear line-management authority, responsibility and accountability. As the Rudman report correctly concludes, security at the Energy Department has suffered from diffuse authority and inattention," said General Habiger. "Secretary Richardson's new security structure, which mirrors the approach used successfully at the Department of Defense, fixes these problems. The Secretary has made it very clear that I have his support to take whatever action is necessary to bring security standards to the highest levels."

The new high-level Office of Security and Emergency Operations consolidates all the department's security, cyber-security, chief information officer, counter terrorism and nuclear emergency response programs. It will also include a new Office of Foreign Visits and Assignments Policy.

In this position, Habiger will be responsible for implementing Secretary Richardson's comprehensive security reform plan. General Habiger will oversee all security functions, including safeguards and security policy, cyber-security, emergency operations functions and counter terrorism, which were previously handled by different DOE program offices. He reports directly to the Secretary and will begin overseeing the reorganization in early July.

This appointment is the latest in Richardson's aggressive actions strengthening every aspect of security and counterintelligence at the Department of Energy over the last nine months. He has rebuilt the Department of Energy counterintelligence program which will be among the most stringent in Government by the end of this year and has implemented more than 85 key reforms to counterintelligence, cyber-security, physical security and oversight at the Department of Energy. The new Office of Security and Emergency Operations is also part of Richardson's broader DOE reorganization plan, which includes improvements in the field-headquarters reporting relationship and strengthens accountability of program line offices.

The General's role as security czar will extend his more than three decades of service to this nation. General Habiger also has extensive knowledge of the Department's stockpile stewardship program. In his former position as commander in chief of the Strategic Command, Habiger was instrumental in the formulation and establishment of DOE's program for maintaining the nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing. In addition to being the Commander in Chief of the Strategic Command, the General commanded two US Air Force Bombardment Wings. He began as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army, and later served with distinction as a bomber pilot in the Vietnam War, with over 150 combat missions.

- DOE -


FAS | Government Secrecy | News ||| Index | Search | Join FAS