State of the Union: Jeh Johnson Named Designated Survivor

PHOTO: Department of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson speaks, Dec. 29, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Department of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson speaks, Dec. 29, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has been named the designated survivor for the 2016 State of the Union, a White House official said Tuesday evening.

Johnson, 58, has been head of the Department of Homeland Security since 2013 and is only the fourth person to serve in the position. He previously served as a general counsel at the Department of Defense.

For each State of the Union address, the White House chief of staff selects a cabinet-level official as the designated survivor, who spends the State of the Union night in an undisclosed location.

They serve as a potential president-in-waiting in the event there is a catastrophic incident in the House chamber during the State of the Union.