Press Release

ADL Hires Former DHS Director George Selim as Senior Vice President of Programs

George Selim

New York, NY, August 28, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today announced the appointment of George Selim, a leading expert on Homeland Security and countering violent extremism (CVE), as Senior Vice President of Programs. In this newly created position, George will report directly to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Selim will lead ADL’s education, law enforcement, and community security programs, and oversee its Center on Extremism.

George has served Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump. He most recently served as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Director of the Office for Community Partnerships reporting to the DHS Secretary, a position he held from September 2015 to August 2017.

“George Selim has unparalleled expertise in engaging communities to stop the destructive extremism that comes from all sides of the ideological spectrum,” ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Particularly in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, we look forward to the leadership he will bring to our fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry, and our work promoting justice and fair treatment for all.”

“I am thrilled to join ADL and work with a world-class team to protect the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all. As we saw in Charlottesville, this mission is more important than ever,” said George Selim, SVP of Programs at ADL. “From training law enforcement, to monitoring and combatting extremism, to working with schools on anti-bias training, the organization has an impressive, comprehensive approach that I look forward to building upon.”

Selim brings a breadth and depth of experience fighting all types of violent extremism and promoting civil rights. Initially appointed during the Bush administration, he also served in the Obama Administration and the Trump Administration, working closely with communities to root out violent extremism. He led all of DHS’s locally-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs, and was selected to lead the CVE Task Force that coordinated the federal government’s efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States. Selim pioneered countless efforts while in government, including hundreds of community engagement forums across the country to confront homeland security issues with Arab, Muslim, Sikh and Jewish community leaders, including with many ADL regions. He designed and implemented the DHS CVE Grants Fund, securing a ten-fold increase of federal funding to state, local and community organizations to counter extremism, and developed the first-ever global campaign for young people to push back on hate speech and online extremism.

His work has drawn praise from the past three DHS secretaries, including current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Michael Leiter, Former Director of the NCTC:

“With George on the team, ADL is gaining someone with unique experience, commitment, and wisdom who will fight for civil rights for all,” said Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center under Presidents Bush and Obama. “In his roles at DOJ, DHS and the White House, George focused on combatting all forms of extremism. He deeply understands the longstanding role anti-Semitism has had in hateful ideologies advocating for violent extremism from both the left and the right. As three Presidents have recognized, there is no one better to do the job at this critical time than George.”

Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of DHS:

“Through Republican and Democratic administrations, George has been steadfast in his efforts to fight extremism,” said Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “As ADL is one of the foremost U.S. non-profit authorities on extremism, terrorism, and hate, I am confident his leadership will further elevate the organization and the broader effort to make our country and our world a safer place.”

Jeh Johnson, Former Secretary of DHS:

“George Selim has been a real leader in the struggle to counter violent extremism in this country. DHS was fortunate to have him. I am thrilled that George has now joined ADL to continue his important work,” said Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “This speaks volumes about ADL’s own commitment to combating violent extremism of all stripes. In these tense times, it is reassuring to know that George will remain active under the banner of the ADL, an organization I much admire and respect.”

Upon his departure, the Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke issued the following statement:

“On Friday, Secretary Kelly accepted the resignation of George Selim, a dedicated career professional who served at DHS under three presidents, beginning with President Bush in 2007. Over the last seven months, the Secretary and I often relied on George's thoughtful and reasoned approach to challenging issues. His experienced and steady hand was important as he played a key role in advising me and senior DHS leaders. The Department could not function effectively without the selfless service of career leaders like George Selim. He will be missed and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Prior to his work at DHS, George was on the White House National Security Council staff – where he focused on domestic to global security threats – after serving as a Senior Policy Adviser at the DHS Office for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. There, he advised Department leadership on policy issues at the intersection of civil liberties and homeland security.

George also worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Community Relations Service (CRS), where he worked to apply conflict resolution and mediation services to communities experiencing conflict nation-wide. In his roles at DOJ, DHS and the NSC, he focused on combatting all forms of extremism where he played a leading role in both the research and analysis of all forms of hateful ideologies, including Islamist extremism, responding to incidents of anti-Semitism both in the U.S and across the globe.

George previously served in AmeriCorps, the government agency focused on community service. He holds an MA from Georgetown University and a BA from Walsh University. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio.

In his new role, Selim will oversee all of ADL’s work with law enforcement. ADL is the largest trainer of law enforcement on issues of hate and extremism, training approximately 15,000 officers each year, including professionals at the federal, state and local level. ADL also provides training and support for synagogues and Jewish institutions as well as other faith-based organizations on issues of communal security including physical needs and cyber-security.

Additionally, George will oversee ADL’s Center on Extremism, the leading research group tracking and analyzing all forms of violent extremism.

George also will oversee ADL’s work in Education. ADL is one of the leading providers in the U.S. of anti-bias and anti-hate content to schools. ADL education programs, including the award-winning No Place for Hate ® initiative and A World of Difference Institute, reach more than 1.5 million school children every year in classrooms across the country.