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DHS science and technology chief confirmed

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Jay Cohen to take over directorate that has faced heavy criticism from lawmakers in recent months.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed retired Navy Rear Adm. Jay Cohen to be the undersecretary for science and technology at the Homeland Security Department.

Cohen, who served as the Navy's chief of research from June 2000 to late 2005, takes over a directorate that has faced heavy criticism from lawmakers in recent months.

Senate appropriators expressed strong frustration with the lack of communication from the directorate in their version of the department's fiscal 2007 appropriations bill. They called the directorate "a rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course."

During his confirmation hearing last week, Cohen said he would "bring the same management approach and leadership approach and hands-on personal involvement that you saw at the Office of Naval Research to get our budget process right, get our requirements process right, get our balance between long-term research and near-term enhancements and deliverables right."