From the Brainroom:Background on Michael Chertoff

President Bush on Tuesday named Michael Chertoff, a federal appeals court judge and a former Justice Department official, as his nominee to be the next homeland security secretary. He’s well known in Washington, D.C. circles, but he's not a household name among the American public. Here we give you the bare facts about his life and career.

• Born November 28, 1953 in Elizabeth, New Jersey

• Earned a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree from Harvard University

• He headed the Justice Department's criminal division from 2001 to 2003

• Played a significant role in developing the U.S. Patriot Act

• Chertoff played a key role in U.S. legal response to 9/11 attacks

• Bush named Chertoff to an appeals court position in New Jersey

• 1983-1987: Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

• 1987-1990: First Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey

• 1990-1994: Served as U.S. Attorney in District of New Jersey

• 1994-1996: Served as U.S. Senate Special Counsel for Whitewater Committee

(Sources: Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2004; "Bush selects judge, former prosecutor to head Homeland," AP, 1/11/05;