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August 28, 2017 8:59 pm

Major Jewish Group Names Former Homeland Security Official to Head Anti-Extremism Efforts

avatar by Ben Cohen

George Selim, ADL’s new Senior Vice President of Programs. Photo: UK House of Commons

A former US government official who served across three administrations was announced on Monday as the new head of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism – which tracks extremism on all fronts and works closely with law enforcement in the process.

George Selim, who becomes the ADL’s Senior Vice President of Programs, has played a leadership role in  US government programs to counter extremism since being appointed by President George W. Bush’s administration to head up community outreach. Retained under President Barack Obama’s administration, he served for four years at the White House on the National Security Council Staff as Director for Community Partnerships. Selim resigned from his government role on July 28, telling NPR that he saw his role “as now needing to step out and potentially be more of an asset from the outside.”

Selim told The Algemeiner that he was “honored and proud” to be joining the ADL team. “I’m coming to ADL after about twelve years in government,” he said. ” In all of my roles, I’ve focused on extremism in all its forms.”

Selim said that his new role “would be to help lead these efforts from a civil society angle,” identifying recruitment activities by jihadi organizations and the growth of “neo-Nazi, antisemitic, anti-immigrant” groups as two key threats.

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ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt  praised Selim for his “unparalleled expertise in engaging communities to stop the destructive extremism that comes from all sides of the ideological spectrum.”

“Particularly in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, we look forward to the leadership he will bring to our fight against antisemitism and bigotry, and our work promoting justice and fair treatment for all,” Greenblatt said.

Michael Chertoff, who served as George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security, expressed strong approval of the appointment. “Through Republican and Democratic administrations, George has been steadfast in his efforts to fight extremism,” Chertoff said in a statement. “As ADL is one of the foremost US 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.”

Selim also won the praise of Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, with whom he worked for the last seven months. “The Department could not function effectively without the selfless service of career leaders like George Selim,” Kelly said. “He will be missed and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

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