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Morning Roundup - November 5th

From Congress Daily, on the newly confirmed Under Secretary for the department's Science and Technology Directorate:

The Senate late Wednesday confirmed by voice vote Tara O'Toole as undersecretary of the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate.

Her nomination had been held up by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over concerns about past lobbying work. But an aide to McCain said he would allow the nomination to go forward after she responded to questions.

"Dr. O'Toole is assuming her role at a critical time, as the H1N1 flu pandemic is spreading across the nation at an alarming rate," Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman said in a statement. "Dr. O'Toole brings a remarkable breadth of experience to this job that is so crucial to our nation's security. She is an inspired choice and I congratulate her on her confirmation."


From Information Week, on IdeaFactory:

The Department of Homeland Security is latching onto one of the Transportation Security Administration's most innovative IT initiatives, a Web 2.0 crowd-sourcing portal called IdeaFactory. Like TSA, Homeland Security will use the platform to encourage its employees to come forward with new ideas on how to do things.

IdeaFactory is a custom-built, .NET Web application that lets employees submit ideas for new programs and rule changes. Other users can rate the ideas, comment on them, pick favorites, and forward them to others. When a proposal gets enough attention, it's sent to an "idea committee" that reviews it and decides what steps to take. It's essentially a digital, and transparent, ideas box.


From Homeland Security Today, on the first public meeting of the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Working Group:

The departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted the first public meeting of their Long-Term Disaster Recovery Working Group Wednesday in New Orleans, La., to begin the development of a national disaster recovery framework.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, along with representatives from about 20 federal offices, joined the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana Recovery Authority, and the City of New Orleans at the University of New Orleans to discuss 16 specific topic areas.

Questions debated by the government officials at the form ranged from the roles of federal, state and local governments in disaster recovery to unmet needs in recovery to best practices for incorporating public input into recovery efforts.

Napolitano called the public forum a useful means of strengthening the ongoing recovery of the Gulf Coast region, which is still rebuilding more than four years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.


Public Events
1:40 PM Local
NPPD Cyber Protection and Awareness Director of Critical Infrastructure Jenny Menna will deliver remarks about the Cyberstorm exercise at the Swedish EU- Presidency International Conference on Resilience-Resilient Electronic Communications
Folkets Hus at the Stockholm City Conference Centre
Barnhusgartan 12-14
Stockholm, Sweden

3 PM Local
NPPD United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team Acting Director Randy Vickers will deliver remarks about the Government Forum of Incidence Response and Security Teams at the Swedish EU- Presidency International Conference on Resilience-Resilient Electronic Communications
Folkets Hus at the Stockholm City Conference Centre
Barnhusgartan 12-14
Stockholm, Sweden

10 AM EST
ICE Office of Investigations Deputy Assistant Director Janice Ayala will testify about organized retail crime before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

2:15 PM EST
NPPD Counselor Bruce McConnell will deliver remarks about DHS’ cybersecurity initiatives at the INPUT Fed Focus Conference
Tyson’s Corner Ritz Carlton
1700 Tyson’s Blvd
McLean, Va.

2:30 PM EST
NPPD Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver closing remarks about the importance of integrity, security, and reliability in software and the DHS’ perspective on software security progress at the 11th Annual Software Assurance Forum
Crystal Gateway Marriott 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Va.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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