WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen today met with the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) to discuss her priorities for the Department. The group discussed a range of homeland security issues and Secretary Nielsen swore in eight new members to the HSAC: Jayson P. Ahern, Stewart A. Baker, Frank J. Cilluffo, Mark J. Dannels, Carol DiBattiste, Cathy Lanier, Wendy Smith-Reeve, and Chad Sweet.
“My vision for the HSAC, consistent with its charter, is to seek their strategic, timely, specific and actionable advice on a range of homeland security issues,” said Secretary Nielsen. “The Department relies on the unique perspectives and strategic advice provided by HSAC members to help address emerging threats in a rapidly changing world. I’m confident that the new members sworn in today will contribute to this important mission.”
"It is an honor to represent the citizens of Arizona and all 15 Arizona Sheriff on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Arizona Sheriffs are on the frontline when it comes to border security and I am thankful for the opportunity to help shape policies that will make our borders safer," said Sheriff Mark Dannels, Cochise County.
The HSAC is a Department of Homeland Security federal advisory committee that provides the Secretary with independent, informed recommendations, and advice on a variety of homeland security issues. The HSAC is comprised of national policy makers, representatives from state, local, and tribal governments, emergency, and first responder communities, academia, and the private sector. Former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster is chair of the HSAC.
For more information about the HSAC, visit www.dhs.gov/hsac [links.govdelivery.com].
The eight new HSAC members sworn in today are:
Jayson P. Ahern is a Principal and Head of Security Services Practice at The Chertoff Group. In this role, he advises clients on a broad range of issues including homeland and border security management, global commerce and supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection, risk management, and strategic planning and implementation. Mr. Ahern retired as the former Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with DHS, after serving 33 years in federal law enforcement.
Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He is the former Assistant Secretary of Policy at DHS where he implemented global policies with significant implications in maritime regulation, customs enforcement, immigration enforcement, identity management, SAFETY Act implementation, money laundering enforcement, government contracts, and regulation of travel and air transportation.
Frank J. Cilluffo directs the McCrary Institute for Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection at Auburn University. Prior to joining Auburn, Cilluffo founded and directed the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at George Washington University where he led a number of national security and cybersecurity policy and research initiatives. Cilluffo previously served as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. Immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Cilluffo was appointed by President George W. Bush to the newly created Office of Homeland Security. Before his White House appointment, Mr. Cilluffo spent eight years in senior policy positions with the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.
Mark J. Dannels is the Sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona and is a 34-year law enforcement veteran. Sheriff Dannels holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Aspen University and is a Certified Public Manager accredited from Arizona State University. He is the current Chair of the Immigration and Border Committee with the National Sheriff’s Association, a member of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition, and President of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association. Sheriff Dannels has been recognized and awarded the Medal of Valor, Western States Sheriff of the Year, Sheriff’s Medal, Deputy of the Year, Distinguished Service Award, Unit Citation Award, National Police Hall of Fame, Lifesaving Award, and dozens of community-service awards from service groups and governmental organizations.
Carol DiBattiste is currently the General Counsel & Chief Compliance, Privacy and People Officer at comScore. Prior to comScore, Ms. DiBattiste held public company senior executive roles at Education Management Corporation, Geeknet, Reed Elsevier/LexisNexis and ChoicePoint. She has served in numerous leadership positions throughout government, including the United States Department of Defense, where she was Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Cathy Lanier is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer for the National Football League. She previously served as the Chief of Police with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) from 2007 to 2016. A highly respected professional in the areas of homeland security and community policing, she took the lead role in developing and implementing coordinated counterterrorism strategies for all units within the MPD and launched the department’s Operation TIPP (Terrorist Incident Prevention Program).
Wendy Smith-Reeve is the Deputy Director, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, and the Director, Division of Emergency Management. Ms. Smith-Reeve manages Arizona’s emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts and has supported and/or managed state response and recovery efforts for 100 state disaster declarations, and 12 presidential disaster declarations. Ms. Smith-Reeve is a current member and former president of the Arizona Emergency Services Association. She is a member of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and formerly served as NEMA President.
Chad Sweet is the Co-Founder & CEO of the The Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm and investment bank exclusively focused on the security sector. Mr. Sweet advises companies and governments on their security and on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the security industry. With over a decade of investment banking experience, Mr. Sweet has been involved in more than $5 billion of successful M&A and capital formation engagements. Mr. Sweet was the former Chief of Staff of DHS and served in the CIA. He currently serves as Chairman of Trustwave Government Services as well as a Director of the corporate boards of Coalfire and Salient CRGT. Finally, in the non-profit sector, he is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington Homeland Security Policy Institute, a Director on RAND’s Global Center for Risk & Security, a Director of the Board of the Economic Club of Washington and a frequent commentator on security issues for FOX, CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg TV.