Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 2, 2008

Major DHS S&T Conference Starts Today

Filed under: DHS News,Events,Technology for HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on June 2, 2008

This week I’ll be attending the DHS S&T Stakeholders Conference. Beginning this morning with a series of training sessions and running through Thursday, the conference is one of the largest DHS events, if not the longest. This is the annual opportunity for DHS to present the S&T Directorate’s organization, vision, and key initiatives, gain input from S&T stakeholders at all levels (Federal, State, and Local), industry, academia, and the news media, explain business opportunities in S&T, and describe new and emerging technologies.

Today includes the Pre-Conference Training Workshop. Sessions are led mostly by DHS, and some private sector, experts about such topics as Doing Business with the S&T Directorate, Science & Technology for First Responders, IEDs, and Crisis Communication.

I’ll blog about the sessions I can attend, which likely will be “Human Factors Division: Social-Behavioral Threat Analysis,” DHS S&T “Special Programs Division,” and “Next Generation Tech Commercialization: IP Portals, Tech Scouting, Alumni Funds, and Clusters.” The entire agenda is available here. Let me know if there is a specific panel you’re interested in.

Tomorrow the official kick-off includes Jay Cohen, Under Secretary for Science and Technology, and Homeland Security Secretary Michale Chertoff. Two panels I’ll cover tomorrow are:

S&T Partners: Capitol Hill
Mr. Brad Buswell, Deputy Under Secretary for Science & Technology, S&T Directorate, DHS
Panelists:
Mr. James McGee, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Mr. Keyur Parikh, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Ms. Ellen Carlin, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives
Ms. Rachel A. Jagoda Brunette, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives
Mr. Tind Shepper Ryen, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives
Dr. Christopher Beck, Professional Staff, Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science & Technology, House Committee on Homeland Security

S&T Partners: International Partners
Ms. Lil Ramirez, Director of International Relations, S&T Directorate, DHS
Professor Israel L. Barak, Chief Scientist & Director. Bureau of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Public Security, Israel
Mrs. Marcela Celorio, Deputy Director for North American Affairs, Centro de Información de Seguridad Nacional, Mexico
Dr Richard Davis, Head National Security Science & Technology Unit, Prime Minister & Cabinet Department, Australia
Dr. Michel Israël, Counselor for Science and Technology, Embassy of the French Republic
Dr. Stefan Mengel, Deputy Director for Security Research, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Republic of Germany
Mr. Yongkyun Kim, National Emergency Management Agency, Republic of Korea

April 9, 2008

DHS Names New IT Chief

Filed under: Cybersecurity,DHS News,Technology for HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on April 9, 2008

Richard Mangogna is the new DHS Chief Information Officer, according to a DHS press release. The announcement is noteworthy for its brevity.

Before we get into the investigation, DHS deck chairs move as follows: Mangogna succeeds Scott Charbo, who was appointed deputy undersecretary of National Protection and Programs. Since Charbo’s departure, Deputy CIO Charles Armstrong has served as acting CIO. Armstrong will support Mangogna’s on-boarding before moving over to become CIO for Customs and Border Protection.

Not a lot out there on Mr. Mangogna. He is identified in the official release as an independent consultant with the Mason Harriman Group. MHG doesn’t list any of its staff on its website. It characterizes its employees as consultants who “are 45 seasoned former C-Level executives from the Fortune 200.” Only generic contact information is available, but at least we can tell where MHG is located: Towaco, N.J.

The White House and DHS releases cite Mangogna as a former president and CEO of Covidea. You don’t know Covidea? The New York Times and Covidea announced a videotex service on September 16, 1986, with a product called New York Pulse. On December 6, 1988, Covidea closed its videotex services, Pronto and Business Banking. New York Pulse shut down the following year.

So what’s the new DHS CIO been up to for the last twenty one years? The Administration only acknowledges that Mangogna worked as executive vice president and CIO at JP Morgan Chase and was the division head of Business Re-engineering Management at Chase Manhattan Bank. I found no evidence of the Business Re-engineering Management role. In its 1999 annual report, Chase Bank refers to him as Global Bank CIO.

It is unclear why more wasn’t said about his experience there. When Chase and JP Morgan merged in 2000, a massive systems and business integration project began. As CIO for the newly created company, Mangogna co-chaired the technology and operations steering committee that guided the integration of the technology that supported the operations of about 100,000 employees with systems across the country and on six continents, involving more than 90 data and processing centers, according to a 2001 piece in InfoWorld. You might say that’s a transferable skill set.

However, DHS is a larger undertaking. With over 200,000 employees operating in a different paradigm than pre-9/11 banking, DHS represents a challenge for anyone. USCIS alone is embarking on a major overhaul of its business processes and technology foundation under its $3.5 billion Transformation program. Perhaps more details about Mangogna’s resume will come out in the press. But since the CIO at DHS doesn’t need to be Senate confirmed, it won’t come easily.

Final note: When Chase Bank purchased a major new Sun Microsystems server for about $900K back in 1999 (that was big then), Mangogna justified the investment, explaining “IT performance is a competitive weapon in the global economy.” He might easily update that assessment to include the bigger picture that DHS is responsible for.

March 22, 2008

4 Administration HLS Officials Named

Filed under: DHS News,Organizational Issues — by Jonah Czerwinski on March 22, 2008

The Bush administration has named four candidates to fill top homeland and national security positions after a protracted effort to fill the top White House counterterrorism post, left open since January.

wanstein.jpg beckstrom.jpg leiter-nctc.jpg charbo.jpg

HLS Advisor to POTUS – Wainstein

Frances Fragos Townsend announced her resignation last November as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In that position, Townsend also served as chair of the White House Homeland Security Council. News reports surfaced that known figures, such as retired Army Gen. John Abizaid, former CENTCOM Commander, and Adm. (Ret.) James Loy, former Coast Guard Commandant and Deputy Homeland Security Secretary, turned down offers by the White House to succeed Townsend. With one year left in this term, it is hard to blame them for declining to return to government service on that note. Townsend’s former deputy, Joel Bagnal, a former Army colonel, has served in an Acting position since her departure and according to those I’ve spoken with, he maintains a great deal of respect in the interagency.

On Wednesday, the President nominated Kenneth Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, to replace Frances Townsend at the White House. Townesend came from the Department of Justice, and Wainstein seems to fit the mold of stalwart Administration supporter and institutional insider that would serve Townsend’s successor well. Since the position is not Senate confirmed, his prickly relationship with the Senate Judiciary Committee is unlikely to be an issue. Wainstein’s main responsibility at this point, barring any attack on the homeland in the meantime, will be to shepherd a transition to the next Presidential administration.

Chief CT Advisor – Leiter

Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Scott Redd stepped down as director of the National Counterterrorism Center last October for health reasons. The post went officially unfilled until this week when the White House announced that the President is nominating Michael Leiter to become succeed VADM Redd. Leiter is well respected in the intel community and has served since Redd’s departure as Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Cyber Czars Named – Beckstrom, Charbo

The president announced a multi-agency cybersecurity initiative late last year after the director at the National Cyber Security Division, Amit Yoran, resigned in October 2007. The job was previously a White House position held by Howard Schmidt and Richard Clarke.

Four months later, President Bush picked Scott Charbo as Deputy Undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS, primarily in charge of the Department’s cybersecurity mission. It seems Charbo will have two roles: combating attacks on U.S. cyber netrworks and weathering attacks from the House Homeland Security Committee. Chairman Thompson is not a fan.

Last Thursday, Secretary Chertoff announced the appointment of Rod Beckstrom as Director of the National Cyber Security Center, which replaces the National Cyber Security Division that Yoran led.

As part of the Administration’s recently announced Cyber Initiative, DHS is responsible for leading federal efforts to protect government networks against cyber-associated threat. Beckstrom is the co-founder of the open-source wiki software system, TWIKI.net, founder of Cats Software, and author of The Starfish And the Spider, which is about the advent of leaderless, decentralized organizations and the power of networks (both human and electronic).

March 4, 2008

Chertoff Convenes Bloggers

Filed under: DHS News,Events — by Jonah Czerwinski on March 4, 2008

Yesterday Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff sat down with a group of homeland security bloggers to discuss the upcoming 5-year anniversary of the Department, accomplishments under his watch, and other topics. In what became more of a rapid fire reverse panel discussion, Chertoff sat opposite the eight of us fielding exactly one question from each person. The topics ranged from immigration modernization to cyber security to warrantless wiretaps. As usual, the Secretary enthusiastically – if sometimes combatively – took on every question with the gusto of a real policy wonk.

Rather than rehash for you the details, you can access transcript of the roundtable from the DHS website. The transcript does not name questioners, but I asked the first question on USCIS Transformation, and others in the group were Ryan Singel of Wired, Townhall.com’s Amanda Carpente, Jeff Stein of CQ, J.P. Freire from American Spectator, Counterterrorism Blog’s Andrew Cochran, and Rich Cooper, former DHS official and contributor to Security Debrief. It was a great opportunity to meet these individuals in person

Because the meeting became more like a press interview than a discussion, I believe that we could have used the time better. Actually, we could’ve simply used more time, but that’s impractical. See the transcript for the details. It gets exciting when Jeff Stein digs in on the use of intel from warrantless wiretaps. See Ryan Singel’s distillation for highlights, too.

January 31, 2008

TSA Joins the Blogroll

Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on January 31, 2008

The Transportation Security Administration took a step into the blogosphere with its new outlet called “Evolution of Security.”  This looks a lot different form the DHS/HQ blog set up by the Secretary.  TSA says that the purpose of its blog is “to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process.”  More of a two-way street.

Kip Hawley made the first post, and it sounds like an excellent start.  Hawley states that “While I and senior leadership of TSA will participate in the discussion, we are turning the keyboard over to several hosts who represent what’s best about TSA (its people). Our hosts aren’t responsible for TSA’s policies, nor will they have to defend them — their job is to engage with you straight-up and take it from there. “

Refreshing.  The bloggers assuming the keyboard cover a number of positions, but they are also practically anonymous.  Bob, Ethel, Jay, Chance, and Jim will be providing content.  While the informality is welcome, the introduction is a little awkward.  (“I like music, I love ice cream, and I adore weird facts,” begins one bio.)  In any case, the line-up includes a senior Transportation Security Officer, a Federal Security Director, and a staffer (referee?) from the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, among others.

Judging by the surfeit of comments the first post has generated (98 in one day as of this posting), they are hitting the ground running.

November 19, 2007

White House Homeland Security Advisor Resigns

Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 19, 2007

The White House announced today that Francis Fragos Townsend, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, resigned.  She served as head of the President’s Homeland Security Council for the last nearly five years and oversaw the development of the recent update to the National Strategy for Homeland Security, the lessons learned report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the fires on the west coast. 

Townsend with Chertoff and HHS Secretary
No word yet on who will replace Ms. Townsend.  Her recently appointed deputy, Joel Bagnal, stepped in for former Deputy HLS Advisor Ken Rapuano after he deployed for a tour in Afghanistan.  Will Mr. Bagnal step in for Townsend?The President reportedly asked all senior political appointees nearly a year ago to decide promptly if they’ll stay until the end of his term.  If not, they were to step down soon to be replaced.  Every President faces an exodus near the end of the second term, and that makes the request sensible.  That Townsend is leaving now — and without an immediate replacement — prompts questions about that wing of the White House.  Who fills that job takes up a great task of shepherding a homeland security mission during very difficult times, and does so by inheriting a new strategy he or she may or may not have had a hand in writing.  Given these circumstances, expect an insider like Bagnal to be named. 

I sure could be wrong on Townsend’s replacement.  Readers are encouraged to comment on who they think will be the new Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

November 12, 2007

Busy Week Ahead for DHS

Filed under: DHS News,Events — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 12, 2007

DHS leadership flung across the country for a very high profile week of events:

Monday, November 12

8:00 AM PST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator David Paulison will deliver remarks to the International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
Silver Legacy Hotel
Exposition Hall A
407 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV
OPEN PRESS

11:00 AM EST
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen will participate in the annual Coast Guard Veterans’ Day Wreath-layering Ceremony on Coast Guard hill
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA
OPEN PRESS

Tuesday, November 13

9:00 AM EST
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen will deliver remarks and participate in a ground breaking ceremony for a new Landfill Gas Co-Generation Plant at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard
2401 Hawkins Point Road
Baltimore, MD
OPEN PRESS

9:30 AM MST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator David Paulison will deliver remarks to the National Congress of American Indians Annual Conference 64th Annual Convention
Hyatt Regency
650 15th Street
Denver, CO
OPEN PRESS

10:00 AM EST
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Admissibility Requirements and Migration Control Executive Director Paul Morris will testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight, Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on human capital needs of the CBP “One Face at the Border” initiative.
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

2:00 PM EST
Management Chief Human Capital Officer Marta Pérez will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight on Department of Homeland Security efforts to recruit, hire and promote veterans.
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

Wednesday, November 14

8:00 AM HST
Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen will address the 2007 International Test and Evaluation Association Symposium
The Kauai Marriott Resort
3610 Rice Street
Lihue, HI
OPEN PRESS

9:00 AM EST
Screening Coordination Office Director Kathleen Kraninger will provide an overview on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative at the Changing Borders Conference
Washington County Community College
US Route 1 South
Calais, ME
OPEN PRESS

10:00 AM EST
Transportation Security Administration Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security on covert testing practices.
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

10:30 AM EST
US-VISIT Director Robert Mocny, U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Response Operation RDML Wayne Justice and U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District Commander RADM Dave Kunkel will participate in a media event announcing the success of the US-VISIT/U.S. Coast Guard Biometrics at Sea Initiative.
100 MacArthur Causeway
Miami Beach, FL
OPEN PRESS

11:00 AM EST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director of Management and Chief Acquisition Officer Deidre Lee will testify before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management on the use of contract workers.
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

11:00 AM CST
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of Citizenship Chief Alfonso Aguilar will participate in a press conference to introduce the Polish version of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publication, “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants”
Copernicus Center
5216 West Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL
OPEN PRESS

1:45 PM EST
Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Greg Garcia will participate on the Securing Cyberspace Panel at the TechNet North 2007 Conference
John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Room 302
Boston, MA
OPEN PRESS

Thursday, November 15

10:00 AM EST
Transportation Security Administration Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on GAO Investigation of Airport Security Checkpoints
2154 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

10:00 AM EST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Operations Directorate Assistant Administrator Glenn Cannon will testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, and Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness on the status of U.S. response following a radiological dispersal devices attack
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

12:30 PM EST
Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver remarks at the 8th Annual U.S. Customs and Border Protection 2007 Trade Symposium
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Atrium Hall
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

2:00 PM EST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Policy and Program Analysis Director Marko Bourne will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response on leveraging mutual aid for effective emergency response
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

8:30 PM EST
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez will provide the keynote address at the VISTA Magazine Awards Dinner
Biltmore Hotel
1200 Anastasia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL
OPEN PRESS

Friday, November 16

2:00 PM GMT
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of Policy and Strategy Chief Carlos Iturregui will deliver remarks on the “U.S. Immigration Landscape – 2007 and Beyond” at the International Bar Association 3rd Biennial Global Immigration Conference
Renaissance Chancery Court
London, England
OPEN PRESS

November 5, 2007

New DHS Technology Task Force Underway

Filed under: DHS News,Technology for HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 5, 2007

DHS has formed a new Task Force under the Advisory Council Act to assess the ways in which the Department of Homeland Security can improve its acquisition of essential technologies. Under the auspices of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Essential Technologies Task Force, as it is called, is sponsored mainly by Under Secretary for Management Paul Schneider, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, and Chief Information Officer Scott Charbo.

With very explicit terms of reference, and a very short amount of time to do its work, this may be one of the better run advisory councils yet for DHS. The topics under discussion ranged into critical areas of strategy, process, and leadership during the Task Force’s first hearing this past Thursday.

Both Scott Gould, VP of Strategy & Change at IBM Public Sector, and I were invited to testify before the Task Force to address a number of issues we believe ought to inform the process of improving DHS decision making in this area, as well as a number of options for immediate, near term, and long term improvements to DHS technology acquisition. The hearing was closed and so I’ll refrain from uploading our comments here or those of others who appeared before the panel. However, the Task Force’s final report will be made public. Following are the members of the Essential Technologies Task Force for DHS.

  • George A. Vradenburg III, President, Vradenberg Foundation – Chairman
  • Joseph White, CEO, American Red Cross, St. Luis MO – Co-Vice Chair
  • John L. Skolds, President, Exelon Energy Delivery and Exelon Generation – Co-Vice Chair
  • Dr. Richard Andrews, Senior Director, National Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination
  • Nelson Balido, President and CEO, Balido &Associates
  • Elliott Broidy, Commissioner, Los Angeles City Fire and Police Pension Fund
  • Dan Corsentino, Former Sheriff, Pueblo County, Colorado
  • Dr. Ruth David, President & CEO, Analytic Services, Inc. (Arlington, VA)
  • Dr. Victoria F. Haynes, President, Research Triangle Institute (Research Triangle, NC)
  • Phillip E. Keith, Former Chief of the Knoxville Tennessee Police Dept. (Knoxville, TN)
  • Stephen Payne, President of Worldwide Strategic Partners and Worldwide Strategic Energy
  • Richard “Rick” Stephens, Senior VP, Human Resources and Admin., The Boeing Company
  • Dr. Lydia C. Thomas, President and CEO (Ret.), Noblis
  • David Wallace, Mayor of Sugarland, Texas
  • Allen Zenowitz, Retired General and FEMA Senior Official
  • Ex-Officio: Judge William Webster, HSAC Chair, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP
  • Ex-Officio: Dr. James Schlesinger, HSAC Vice Chair, Chairman, Board of Trustees, The MITRE Corporation
  • October 10, 2007

    Or is the New Strategy Just Overdue?

    Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on October 10, 2007

    The Washington Post ran a story today about the new National Strategy for Homeland Security that emphasizes the timing chosen for the new document. The article misses some important points.

    The President’s homeland security advisor, Fran Townsend, is quoted as suggesting that “Homeland security both as a policy matter and as a concept didn’t exist prior to 9/11 and prior to…President Bush assuming office.” We may have called it “homeland defense” or “anti-terrorism” before, but it sure isn’t the sole product of 9/11 or this Administration. Whether it was the Gilmore Commission (1999-2004) or the Hart-Rudman Commission (1998-2001), or one of several other high-level efforts, that concept long predates the authors of the 2002 and 2007 Homeland Security Strategy documents.

    The Post writers go on to quote Frank Cilluffo and David Heyman. Frank is candid in proposing that the new Strategy is more rearview mirror that proactive. Less than a contribution to the next Administration, he suggests it’s an effort to preserve the Bush Administration’s legacy. One would get that impression from the fact sheet put out by the White House Press Office. A full third of that document is dedicated to past successes and advice for the Congress.

    David Heyman’s analysis is focused on one of the elephants in the room: How do you carry out a strategy – old or new – if you have a depleted workforce? But the Post story quotes him as though the problem is a lack of “processes and operations to support” the Strategy. This seems odd since a major highlight in the new document, also explained in this earlier post that broke the story of the Strategy being revised, that shows a very detailed process for policy, operations, and support.

    The story did not point out that the timing of this new Strategy may just be overdue. After the first Strategy in 2002, there was the 2003 Iraq invasion and the creation of a whole new enemy called “al Qaeda in Iraq,” the Madrid bombings in 2004, London bombings in July 2005, and the Bali bombings later that same year. The Department of Homeland Security had only been around for six months at the time the first Strategy was issued.

    I can understand why the re-election effort in 2004 may have slowed things down in the policy shop, but why not issue a new Strategy in 2005? That would have given this Administration four years to carry it out. Did we have to wait to have the concept of natural disasters included more prominently into our Homeland Security doctrine until after Hurricane Katrina?

    October 6, 2007

    The Week Ahead for DHS: 10/8-12, 2007

    Filed under: DHS News,Events — by Jonah Czerwinski on October 6, 2007

    Monday, October 08

    Events TBD

    Tuesday, October 09

    6:30 PM EDT
    Transportation Security Administration Administrator Kip Hawley will address the British-American Business Association
    British Embassy Rotunda
    3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC

    Wednesday, October 10

    9:30 AM EDT
    Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Greg Garcia will deliver a keynote address to the Detroit SecureWorld Expo on the development and implementation of the Information Technology Sector-Specific Plan, National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities, and the steps public and private sector organizations can take to protect cyberspace
    Ford Motor Company Conference and Event Center
    Keynote Theater
    1151 Village Road
    Dearborn, MI

    10:00 AM EDT
    Transportation Security Administration Administrator Kip Hawley will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection on aviation security
    2167 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC

    1:30 PM EDT
    Chief Privacy Officer Hugo Teufel III will speak at the National Chamber Foundation’s “RFID Solutions: Securing the Commerce for Tomorrow” conference on the Department’s policy on Radio Frequency Identification
    Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
    1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC

    2:00 PM EDT
    Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Director Vayl Oxford will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology on the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s technical nuclear forensics program
    311 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC

    Thursday, October 11

    9:00 AM PDT
    Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator David Paulison will deliver the keynote address at the National Emergency Preparedness Conference
    Capital Christian Center
    MRC Room
    9470 Micron Avenue
    Sacramento, CA

    2:00 PM EDT

    Update: This hearing is postponed to Tuesday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. Location: 342 Dirksen Bldg.

    U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Craig Bone, Transportation Security Administration Director of Maritime and Surface Credentialing Stephen Sadler, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Director Vayl Oxford, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations Assistant Commissioner Thomas Winkowski will testify before the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism on the SAFE Port Act
    311 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC
    Friday, October 1210:15 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez will address the National Foundation for Women Legislators
    The Seelbach Hilton Louisville
    500 Fourth Street
    Louisville, KY

    11:00 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Prakash Khatri will address the conference of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys on International Adoption and Immigration
    Marriott Hotel
    300 South Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD

    September 25, 2007

    Revised Homeland Security Strategy Underway

    Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on September 25, 2007

    Many of us have heard rumblings of an effort underway – led by White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend and her deputy Joel Bagnal – to revise the 2002 National Strategy for Homeland Security.  I was able to locate a presentation deck being used by Homeland Security Council officials to outline the rationale, intent, and scope of the new strategy document. It’s a cursory treatment at only 14 slides. However, some telling language reflects prevailing views amid HLS leadership about the five-year-old strategy presently on the books, as well as some useful perspectives on the nature of the threat.

    hls-strategy-cover-slide-ii.jpg

    The first slide’s title says it all: “The Need for a Revised Strategy.” Operating from the same strategy since 2002, the need is real and surely felt by many members in the HLS community. The original strategy was written at a time when the terrorism threat environment was different (there was no Iraq war, for one) and the bureaucracy responsible for the homeland mission was only just getting off the drawing board.

    So what was really missing back in 2002? The presentation offers a short list with the suggestion that we need to “Articulate a capstone strategy to organize and unify the national effort.” I’m not sure what that means, but the next goal is indisputably important: “Institute a common framework for the broader homeland security community.”

    The need for a common framework is hard to argue with. You’ll find nothing else in this presentation specifically on that topic except for the detailed graphic on the final slide depicting what may be the “framework” they have in mind. This beauty is reminiscent of the structures used by the Defense Department to align their policy guidance, planning, and operations. This one even uses the term “doctrine,” a rarity in the realm of homeland security.

    DHS Strategy Management System 

    Other items missing back in 2002 included, apparently, disruption and protection. The presentation justifiably takes on the very definition of homeland security put forth in the original strategy.

    2002 Strategy:
    •Homeland security is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.

    2007 Strategy:
    •Homeland Security is a concerted national effort to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks, protect against man-made and natural hazards, and respond to and recover from incidents that do occur.

    Broadening the concept of homeland security is a great start.  And while a more detailed voice track surely accompanies this presentation, some things still remain outside this scope.  For example, a comprehensive strategy would include the concept of deterrence and how it applies in the context of terrorism.  Perhaps prevention can encompass deterrence, but that’s a stretch.  The only other possible hook on which to hang a reference to this would be on Slide 4, which states that Homeland Security entails “offense and defense.”  It is in the latter where we may find deterrence accounted for.  Quite a lot could be read into these 14 slides.  Let’s hope that the intellectual foundation supporting these encouraging signs come to light soon.

    Updated 9/27/07: I had originally noted that DHS officials were briefing this slide deck, but was informed today that it is being used by officials at the White House Homeland Security Council. 

    Update 9/27/07: UPI’s Shaun Waterman ran a related story today.

    September 24, 2007

    DHS Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson Announces Resignation

    Filed under: DHS News — by Jonah Czerwinski on September 24, 2007

    DepSec Jackson sent the following letter today to his DHS team: 

    My Dear Colleague:

    Today I submitted to President Bush a letter resigning my position as Deputy Secretary at DHS, effective October 26, 2007. I deeply regret that I am unable to stand alongside Secretary Chertoff and each of you until the last day of this Administration. The simple truth, however, is that after over five years of serving with the President’s team, I am compelled to depart for financial reasons that I can no longer ignore.

    At DHS I found in every corner of our organization quiet heroes who routinely lift a load greater than anyone can reasonably be asked to lift. In each of you, I found a steel-edged passion for our mission, and daily I found endless inspiration in your service. The Department is in strong hands, with experienced leaders, both career and non-career. Although I will soon take leave from DHS, I do so confident in the extraordinary capabilities that our colleagues at every level within DHS bring to the vital work of homeland security.

    Today I become, in Washington’s argot, a lame duck. But I don’t intend to be a dead duck quite yet. Know that I am committed during the month ahead to do everything I possibly can to continue to support you and the Department. Ask me for help as you need.

    I am truly grateful to Secretary Chertoff for allowing me to be a part of his team, and for supporting me so generously in all that was on my plate. Most importantly, I am beholden, with a debt inextinguishable, to President Bush for the profound gift of being allowed to work on his behalf at DHS since February 2005, among such magnificent women and men as you.

    – Michael

    Michael P. Jackson

    Deputy Secretary

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    September 20, 2007

    Welcome, Mr. Secretary, to the Blogosphere

    Filed under: DHS News,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on September 20, 2007

    Readers may have noticed that we’ll need to add a new one to the blogroll here.  Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is now blogging.  I don’t think he sleeps.  The man is dealing with one of the most motley of bureaucracies in one of the most political environments, and he still finds time to post.  Looking at my frequency of updates here lately, I’m feeling rather inadequate.

    But the Secretary seems to be enjoying himself.  The Leadership Journal, as the blog is named, affords him some freedom to rebut his critics in the press without interruption.  A recent post of his took the New York Times to task for an editorial about DHS authorities and performance.  Attending to this topic would demand a daily update with all the commentary underway from the GAO to the IG to the Congress.  Heck, perhaps HLSWatch.com will rise to the attention of the Leadership Journal….

    Before we get ahead of ourselves, following is the caveat set for the Secretary’s blog:

    • This Journal is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact your local police or FBI office or submit a tip to the FBI online.

    • Do not send in questions or status inquiries about your specific immigration or citizenship case or questions about your passport or visa. Contact USCIS directly regarding citizenship, and the State Department regarding international travel.

    • This is a thought journal, not a substitute channel for services or general questions. See “Contact Us” on www.dhs.gov, to get help from the Department and components.

    • Reporter questions will not be posted. Reporters should contact the Press Office through their normal channels.

    However, you can always report criminal activity or request citizenship status reports right here on HLSWatch.com.

    Update 9/20/07: You can not report criminal activity or request citizenship status reports right here on HLSWatch.com

    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.

    August 28, 2007

    DHS Leadership Schedule (subject to change, and usually does)

    Filed under: DHS News — by Jonah Czerwinski on August 28, 2007

    Tuesday, August 28
    10:00 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Chief of Citizenship Alfonso Aguilar will participate in a task force on new American volunteer outreach.
    Boston City Hall, Piemonte Conference Room, 5th Floor
    One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA
    OPEN PRESS

    1:45 PM CDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff and Governor Bob Riley will view a demonstration by the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group (DOG) Coast Guard Aviation Training Center
    Hanger 2
    8501 Tanner Williams Road
    Mobile, AL
    OPEN PRESS
    ** Media must contact Lieutenant Aaron Ortenzio (251)583-1359 or Lieutenant Junior Grade Tavis McElheny (251)533-9013 no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday for clearance. B-roll opportunity will be available.

    3:15 PM CDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff and Governor Bob Riley will view a demonstration of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
    Coast Guard Aviation Training Center
    Hanger 2
    8501 Tanner Williams Road
    Mobile, AL
    OPEN PRESS ** Media must contact Lieutenant Aaron Ortenzio (251)583-1359 or Lieutenant Junior Grade Tavis McElheny (251)533-9013 no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday for clearance. B-roll opportunity will be available.

    3:25 PM CDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff will participate in a press availability with Governor Bob Riley Coast Guard Aviation Training Center
    Hanger 2
    8501 Tanner Williams Road
    Mobile, AL
    OPEN PRESS ** Media must contact Lieutenant Aaron Ortenzio (251)583-1359 or Lieutenant Junior Grade Tavis McElheny (251)533-9013 no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday for clearance.

    Wednesday, August 29
    8:00 AM EDT
    Senior Advisor for the Privacy Office Toby Levin will lead a panel discussion on privacy incident response at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2007 Security Conference and Workshop “The Keys to Securing the Homeland”
    Sheraton Hotel, Potomac Room
    300 South Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD
    OPEN PRESS

    9:00 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez will lead a groundbreaking ceremony for the Miami and Caribbean Office
    Corner of North West 59th Avenue and Miami Gardens Drive
    Miami, FL
    OPEN PRESS

    10:15 AM EDT
    Privacy Office Director of Privacy Technology Peter Sand and Privacy Impact Assessment Coordinator Nathan Coleman will lead a panel discussion on privacy documentation guidance at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2007 Security Conference and Workshop “The Keys to Securing the Homeland”
    Sheraton Hotel, Potomac Room
    300 South Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD
    OPEN PRESS

    1:30 PM EDT
    Privacy Office Director of Privacy Technology Peter Sand will lead a panel on privacy technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2007 Security Conference and Workshop “The Keys to Securing the Homeland”
    Sheraton Hotel, Potomac Room
    300 South Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD
    OPEN PRESS

    2:30 PM EDT
    Senior Advisor for the Privacy Office Toby Levin will lead a panel on privacy policy guidance discussion at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2007 Security Conference and Workshop “The Keys to Securing the Homeland”
    Sheraton Hotel, Potomac Room
    300 South Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD
    OPEN PRESS

    Thursday, August 30
    10:00 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will participate in naturalization ceremony for 151 new Americans
    Broward County Library.
    100 South Avenue
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    OPEN PRESS

    Friday, August 31
    Events TBD

    August 13, 2007

    This week’s schedule for DHS leadership (subject to change)

    Filed under: DHS News — by Jonah Czerwinski on August 13, 2007

    Monday, August 13
    11:00 AM CDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff will participate in a press availability with Mayor Ray Nagin
    New Orleans City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street
    New Orleans, LA
    OPEN PRESS

    2:00 PM CDT
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Ralph Basham and Mexico Customs Administrator General Juan Jose Bravo will sign a Bilateral Strategic Plan agreement that establishes the principles the U.S. and Mexico will follow in the exploration and deployment of projects to enhance the flow of commerce and the security of the border.
    Salón Panamericano de Palacio Nacional
    Mexico City, Mexico
    OPEN PRESS

    2:30 PM CDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff will participate in a press availability with Governor Kathleen Blanco U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans
    200 Hammond Highway
    Metairie, LA
    OPEN PRESS

    3:45 PM MDT
    Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis and Chief Intelligence Officer Charlie Allen will participate on a panel on strengthening intelligence through diversity at the Border Security Conference.
    University of Texas, El Paso
    University Undergraduate Learning Center
    500 West University Avenue
    El Paso, TX
    OPEN PRESS

    Tuesday, August 14
    8:30 AM
    MDT
    Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver remarks at the Border Security Conference on securing and managing our nation’s borders.
    University of Texas, El Paso
    University Undergraduate Learning Center
    500 West University Avenue
    El Paso, TX
    OPEN PRESS

    9:15 AM MDT
    Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent, El Paso Sector, Vic Manjarrez will participate on a panel at the Border Security Conference.
    University of Texas, El Paso
    University Undergraduate Learning Center
    500 West University Avenue
    El Paso, TX
    OPEN PRESS

    1:15 PM MDT
    Secretary Chertoff will deliver remarks to the Border Patrol Academy
    Indian Police Academy Memorial
    Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
    1300 West Richey Avenue
    Artesia, NM
    OPEN PRESS

    Wednesday, August 15
    10:00 AM PDT

    Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen will preside over a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Coast Guard’s Joint Harbor Operations Center
    Coast Guard Sector Seattle
    1519 Alaskan Way South
    Seattle, WA
    OPEN PRESS

    Thursday, August 16
    9:00 AM EDT
    Secretary Chertoff will deliver remarks at the quarterly meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    Ronald Reagan Building
    Rotunda Ballroom
    1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC
    OPEN PRESS

    10:30 AM EDT
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez will deliver the keynote address at the groundbreaking of a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office.
    11411 East Jefferson Avenue
    Detroit, MI
    OPEN PRESS

    Friday, August 17
    Events TBD

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