Department of Homeland Security press secretary David Lapan is leaving his post for a job with the Bipartisan Policy Center, CyberScoop has learned.
Lapan told CyberScoop he made the decision on Sunday and told senior colleagues Monday. His last day in the office will be Oct 24, and he will be joining the Washington, D.C.-based think tank as senior director of communications and public affairs at the end of the month.
Lapan, who returned to government service at the request of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, said the timing of the move — it comes only days after the announcement that Kirstjen Nielsen would be nominated to be the next DHS secretary — was “a coincidence.” Elaine Duke has been acting secretary since Kelly became President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
“Once it became clear that I would not be going to the White House with Gen. Kelly, people who knew me started to approach me about opportunities outside the government,” Lapan said. “I’ve been talking informally to people for a couple of months.”
A retired Marine Corps colonel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lapan was spokesman for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey before leaving active service. Lapan also has worked as senior director in the National Capital Region for the Military Child Education Coalition.
The move was first reported by CNN.