Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 29, 2007

New Members of DHS HSAC Named

Filed under: DHS News — by Jonah Czerwinski on August 29, 2007

Must be a slow news week(s) for CQ Homeland Security to take off for about 17 days.  (They are back up on 9/4/07.)  But we’re still watching developments.  I’ve commented here in the past on the work of the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council, which was the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council until the Department stood up.  Outside advice is nearly always a good thing when it comes to running a bureaucracy of ~185,000 people. 

The added challenge for the HSAC is that the subject of homeland security is so frustratingly broad it is difficult to populate an advisory council with individuals representing the needed specialties while still expecting a group of people with little in common to work together.  The HSAC is ironing that out.  They have the following subgroups: 

They’ve also established a working group focused on the mission of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.  The DNDO leadership has so far been very forward leaning in seeking outside counsel.  There are at least three groups focused on this challenge of combating smuggled nuclear weapons. 

Yesterday, Secretary Chertoff announced the appointment of three new members to the HSAC and ten new members to the subcommittees. 

The three new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council: 

County Supervisor
Don Knabe will serve as the chairman of the State and Local Officials Senior Advisory Committee. Supervisor Knabe was first elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in November 1996. In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Knabe to the California Emergency Council. 

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will be Vice Chairman of the State and Local Officials Senior Advisory Committee.

Dr. John “Skip” Williams is the provost and vice president for health affairs; professor of anesthesiology and of health services management and leadership at George Washington University. Dr. Williams previously served as a member of the HSAC’s Emergency Response Senior Advisory Committee.  Skip Williams is also a champion of the Homeland Security Policy Institute that Frank Cilluffo founded at GWU in 2004.  Frank’s already a member of the HSAC. 

The three new members of the HSAC’s State and Local Officials Senior Advisory Committee:  

Trenton, N.J., Mayor Douglas Palmer is the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the New Jersey Urban Mayor’s Association.  

Sugar Land, TX, Mayor David Wallace is co-chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Homeland Security Task Force and also serves as a trustee member of the Executive Committee.

IN State Senator Thomas Wyss is chairman of the Homeland Security, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs Committee in the Indiana Senate. Senator Wyss will serve as the organizational representative for the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The two new members of the HSAC’s Private Sector Senior Advisory Committee: 

Nelson H. Balido is founder of Balido & Associates, Inc. a public strategies, multicultural marketing, and real estate consulting firm. He worked at SBC Communications (AT&T) as the director of multicultural marketing. In 2003, the governor of Texas appointed Nelson to a six-year term as the commissioner of the Texas Commission on the Arts. 

Emily Walker, managing director at Citigroup in London, recently served as business executive advisor to the United Nations World Food Program on loan from Citigroup to set up an emergency network for corporate donations to global disasters. She also served as professional staff member and family liaison for the 9/11 Commission. 

The two new members of the HSAC’s Emergency Response Senior Advisory Committee: 

Ellis M. Stanley Sr. is the general manager of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department. He is past president of the International Association of Emergency Managers, a Certified Emergency Manager, and a member of the National Advisory Board for Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Institute.

Joseph White is the CEO of the American Red Cross, St. Louis Area Chapter. Mr. Whitehas deployed on many disaster assignments, including to Baton Rouge and New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mr. White serves on the National American Red Cross President’s Advisory Council. 

The three new members of the HSAC’s Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee:

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Donohue served 13 years as president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. 

Susan Ginsburg, Esq. is a visiting senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute and private consultant. Ms. Ginsburg served as senior counsel and team leader on the staff of the 9/11 Commission and was responsible for research and policy recommendations concerning the entry of the 9/11 hijackers, terrorist travel, and border controls. Ginsburg worked at Treasury as senior advisor and firearms policy coordinator for the Under Secretary for Enforcement. 

Stephen Payne is the president of Worldwide Strategic Partners and Worldwide Strategic Energy.  He is also board member of the National Defense University Foundation and the U.S. Baltic Foundation.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

August 29, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

Eileen Sullivan has departed from CQ’s DHS beat and joins AP with expanded jurisdiction over HS issues not just those with Congressional connection.

In the meantime, HSAC actually has produced some product and testimony. Since many of their meetings are closed since not fully subject to FACA or closed under Sunshine Act authority, it would be helpful to know what availability is for those products, links to them, and summary’s of what they actually recommended. Members of the former White House level HSAC actually testified before Congress a number of times on their recommendations. An action that I think should be continued.

After all, perhaps if 1000 flowers bloom one may take to seed.

Comment by Jonah Czerwinski

August 29, 2007 @ 4:34 pm


Thanks for the comment. Members of the HSAC and its subgroups still testify from time to time. Actually, Doug Hoelscher, Executive Director of the HSAC, just testified about a month ago.

As for other reports, you’ll find some by searching this blog, like the DHS Culture Task Force Report and the WME Task Force Report. Others are not easy to find. I’ve linked here to one on information sharing and another on the future of the terrorism threat. This is an HSAC report on intelligence fusion centers.

HSAC proceedings are open to the public as it is a FACA body. However, they meet in closed session when classified material is being discussed. (Every member is cleared.)


Comment by William R. Cumming

August 30, 2007 @ 3:39 am

Thanks and very helpful. Who is the current “Federal Officer” that runs HSAC?

Comment by Jonah Czerwinski

August 30, 2007 @ 8:54 am


I believe the DFO for the HSAC would be Doug Hoelscher or Mike Fullerton (the Deputy Executive Director of the HSAC). Each SAC (senior advisor committee) would have their own, too, I believe.


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