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The Quadrennial Homeland Security Review is in the midst of its second National Dialogue. For those of you who haven’t been following too closely, the review is a congressionally mandated, top-to-bottom review of homeland security. There are six study groups, focusing on:


  • Counterterrorism and Domestic Security Management
  • Securing Our Borders
  • Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws
  • Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters
  • Homeland Security National Risk Assessment
  • Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities

We are using online dialogues to allow stakeholders the opportunity to inform the work of our study groups.

During the first dialogue, more than 8,000 stakeholders rated and commented on proposed visions and goals from the study groups. We reviewed all rating data and comments submitted and forwarded to study groups – overall, we were very impressed with the quality and thoughtfulness of what we heard from you during the first dialogue.

For example, we received many recommendations on how to improve content, like simpler and more direct language. Stakeholders pointed out the critical interdependencies and emerging overlaps between study groups, and reinforced the need to stress mitigation as having a complementary role with preparedness, response, and recovery. Participants also stressed the need for ‘resiliency’ in the entire QHSR strategy, and the use of standard terminology.

We heard you – we relied on your feedback to modify our proposals and to enhance the user experience for the second national dialogue, which began on August 31st. During the second dialogue, we are asking stakeholders to rank proposed objectives and offer suggestions on how to achieve them.

Due to the upcoming Labor Day Weekend Holiday, we have extended the Second National Dialogue to Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. We’re eager to hear your input.

Join the conversation at


Alan D. Cohn is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (Strategic Plans)

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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