March 13, 2018: James McDonnell was appointed as an Assistant Secretary for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday, March 9, 2018. McDonnell has worked as the Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and he was part of the original executive leadership team at DHS in 2003, where he was responsible for the initial development and management of the Infrastructure Protection Office. McDonnell has also held senior executive positions at the U.S. Department of Energy and at the White House. He has also worked in the private sector, where he directed security and other risk managmenet functions. McDonnell retired from the U.S. Navy after twenty years working in special operations and counterterrorism.