- DHS Directorate for Science and Technology
The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is led by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. The current Under Secretary is Tara O'Toole, who was confirmed on November 4, 2009.
The S&T Under Secretary oversees the activities of six primary divisions: the Explosives Division; the Chemical and Biological Division; the Command, Control, and Interoperability Division; the Human Factors Division; and the Infrastructure and Geophysical Division. The Office of the Under Secretary also includes the three cross-cutting divisions of Research, Innovation/HSARPA (Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency), and Transition. A number of small offices within S&T include Strategy, Policy, and Budget; Corporate Communications; Associate General Council; Operations Analysis; Interagency Programs; International Programs; Special Programs; Test & Evaluation and Standards; and Business Operations, Services & Human Capital.
Each of the primary divisions has a different set of missions and goals:
- The Border and Maritime Security Division develops and transitions tools and technologies that improve the security of the United States' borders and waterways, without impeding the flow of commerce and travelers.
- The Chemical and Biological Division works to increase the United States' preparedness against chemical and biological threats through improved threat awareness, advanced surveillance and detection, and protective countermeasures.
- The Command, Control, and Interoperability Division develops interoperable communication standards and protocols for emergency responders, cyber security tools for protecting the integrity of the Internet, and automated capabilities to recognize and analyze potential threats.
- The Explosives Division develops the technical capabilities to detect, interdict, and lessen the impacts of non-nuclear explosives used in terrorist attacks against mass transit, civil aviation, and critical infrastructure.
- The Human Factors Division applies the social and behavioral sciences to improve detection, analysis, and understanding and response to homeland security threats.
- The Infrastructure and Geophysical Division focuses on identifying and mitigating the vulnerabilities of the 17 critical infrastructure and key assets that keep the United States' society and economy functioning.
The smaller divisions serve to support the six primary divisions:
- The Test and Evaluation and Standards Division works to ensure independent objective testing of technology developments by the six Divisions and across DHS. Additionally, this Office oversees standards development for the effective operation and interoperability of technology, as well as providing technical support and coordination to assist the Nation's emergency responders in the acquisition of equipment, procedures, and mitigation processes that are safe, reliable, and effective.
- The Office of Special Programs coordinates highly classified projects executed by the six Divisions.
- The Office of Operations Analysis supports risk analysis and manages the Homeland Security Institute studies and analysis efforts which helps form the Department of Homeland Security's basis for risk informed decision making.
- The Interagency and International Programs Divisions facilitate government-wide science and technology coordination and provide outreach to U.S. allies.
- The University Programs Division engages the academic community to create learning and research environments in areas critical to homeland security.
- Office of National Laboratories (ONL) liaises with the Department of Energy's National Labs.
- TechSolutions is a rapid-prototyping office that provides information, resources, and technology solutions that address mission capability gaps identified by the emergency response community.
The Under Secretary for Homeland Security Science and Technology is also affiliated with externally-administered programs:
- Homeland Security Centers of Excellence bring together leading experts and researchers to conduct multidisciplinary research and education for homeland security solutions
- Homeland Security Institute is the Department's first government "think tank" or Federally Funded Research and Development Center
Research facilities include:
- National Urban Security Technology Laboratory
- Plum Island Animal Disease Center
- National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is proposed to replace Plum Island in 2014.
Initiatives and Programs
The Under Secretary for Homeland Security Science and Technology currently administers a number of publicly-available programs to promote independent development of homeland security technologies.
SAFECOM is the Federal umbrella program designed to foster interoperability among the Nation’s public safety practitioners, so that they may communicate across disciplines and jurisdictions during an emergency.
SAFETY Act provides liability protections that make it feasible for sellers of qualified antiterrorism technologies to introduce homeland security solutions to the marketplace
Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) is a five-year, $10 million program to promote the creation and use of open security and open-source software in the United States government and military. In October 2011, the directorate won the Open Source for America 2011 Government Deployment Open Source Award for the program.
- Virtual USA
- ^ Hsu, Jeremy (2011-05-26). "U.S. Considers Open-Source Software for Cybersecurity". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43182037/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/us-considers-open-source-software-cybersecurity/#.TpfUb0wf64Y. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- ^ Rockwell, Mark (2011-10-18). "DHS technology directorate wins awards for cyber security efforts". Government Security News. http://www.gsnmagazine.com/node/24771. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
Independent agencies Agriculture Commerce Defense Energy Health and Human Services Homeland SecurityDirectorate for Science and Technology (S&T) Interior Veterans AffairsVeterans Health Administration Office of Research and Development (ORD) Policy-making bodies
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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