Josh Cohen

Secretary Chertoff Describes Working Under President Bush, Taking Down Enron and Building the Patriot Act on Eyewitness History Podcast

In an exclusive interview, Secretary Michael Chertoff, renowned security expert and co-founder of The Chertoff Group, spoke with Josh Cohen of the Eyewitness History podcast.  The two discussed the Secretary’s career, his insights on critical events in American history, and his leadership philosophy. From his early life experiences to his instrumental role in shaping national security policies following 9/11, Chertoff’s profound dedication to protecting the nation and fostering resilience shines through.

The two began by talking about Secretary Chertoff’s journey in law. They covered Secretary Chertoff’s time as a clerk with Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and the various lessons he learned and applied later in his life.

The Secretary stressed to Josh the significance of fostering a culture of preparedness, encouraging proactive measures where possible, and embracing innovative solutions to evolving threats. 

The Secretary and Josh discuss, in detail, what it was like taking over the Department of Homeland Security. Many forget that the department, formed in the aftermath of 9/11, was still in its infancy and grappling with the complexities of integrating numerous agencies and functions into a cohesive entity. The interview also provides a unique opportunity to discuss the influential Patriot Act, which he played a significant part in developing. 

In addition to many other topics, the Secretary discussed why he started The Chertoff Group as well as the shifting landscape of cybersecurity which has been a primary focus of Mr. Chertoff’s for the last few years. He also told Josh why he penned the book “Exploding Data:Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age”.

On his podcast, “Eyewitness History,” Josh Cohen has interviewed people as varied as World War Two veterans, Holocaust survivors, Apartheid soldiers and CIA Officers, among many others. Please listen to either of the links below and subscribe via the podcast player of your choice.

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