Michael Chertoff was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Feb. 15, 2005, and sworn in as the second secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He formerly served as United States circuit judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Before that, Chertoff served as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. Before joining the George W. Bush administration, Chertoff was a partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. From 1995 to 1996, he served as special counsel for the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee.
Prior to that, Chertoff spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, including service as U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, first assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey and assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Chertoff graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1975 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1978. From 1979 to 1980 he served as clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr.