Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Encourages Gray Bees


Jack Correia

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson greets Gray Section Leader Travis Wright.

Othman Muhammad, Online Editor

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson engaged the student body with the story of his comeback from a less than stellar high school career and freshman experience at Morehouse College to a cabinet position in the administration of President Barack Obama.

At his April 7 visit here, Mr. Johnson recalled being an adequate high school student who settled for C’s. This lethargic approach toward academics continued at Morehouse College, until, tired of receiving poor grades, he decided to take his academics more seriously. He achieved High Honors as a sophomore, then he went on to maintain a 4.0 GPA junior and senior year;  he ultimately earned a law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

He told his story to encourage Gray Bees who were, like him, in the bottom half of their classes.

While at the Hive, Mr. Johnson, who served as the Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013 until 2017, engaged students by testing their knowledge of government policy. He asked Gray Bees about the Presidential order of succession, who is protected by the secret service, and which world leaders were shown in pictures with Mr. Johnson.

A high point of his questioning was quizzing US History II teacher Douglas Sterner on what determined the order of the Cabinet officials in the line of succession. Dr. Sterner got it right.

He educated the students on the duties of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson let students know he was responsible for running the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, United States Coast Guard, United States Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After President Barack Obama finished his term in office in 2017, Mr. Johnson left his role at the Secretary of Homeland Security. Currently, Mr. Johnson is a partner at the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Law firm as a private citizen.