Department of Homeland Security press secretary David Lapan, the voice of the department and a longtime colleague of White House chief of staff John Kelly, is leaving the Trump administration, Lapan confirms to CNN.
Lapan began telling people this week of his move to the private sector, a source familiar with his plans said. In confirming the news, Lapan said he would be joining the Bipartisan Policy Center as senior director of communications and public affairs at the end of the month.
While the move comes on the heels of the announcement of a new nominee to be DHS secretary, top Kelly staffer Kirstjen Nielsen, Lapan said the move is unrelated, has been in the works for some time and is a personal decision.
Lapan came to DHS at the request of Kelly, with whom Lapan had worked for more than a decade in the Marine Corps.
The longtime Marine had also worked in the Pentagon press shop but had left government service and retired from the Marines to work in the nonprofit world when Kelly asked him to serve once again and join the administration.
Lapan was considered for the role of communications director when Kelly joined the White House and after Anthony Scaramucci left, CNN reported, but the job ultimately went to longtime Trump staffer Hope Hicks.