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  6. Avoiding Alphabet Soup

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In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

Avoiding Alphabet Soup

Say what you will, but if the government does one thing well, it’s acronyms. Here are two new ones for you: PMF and PHF. Rather than try to explain…

PHF Haroon stood up a DHS Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul; PMF Marianna analyzed the 5-year funding strategy for the Department’s HQ facilities consolidation project. PHF Zac led a team to ensure interoperable communications at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, while PMF Evan served as the scientific lead for a risk assessment study group.

They represent the Department to local, state and international governments, first responders and community organizations. They manage projects and people, draft key recommendations and reports, brief the Secretary on key initiatives. They possess graduate degrees from the nation’s top colleges and universities and will soon join the ranks of civil service at DHS, leading America’s effort to protect ourselves against all shared risks.

They are part of the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) and Policy Honors Fellowship (PHF) – two programs designed to cultivate a next generation of homeland security professionals. Last week these young leaders met with senior DHS officials to discuss the Department’s future, and learned a thing or two about their bosses in the process.

“You all are leaders – you are the future of this Department,” Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute told the Fellows. She gave the Fellows some career advice, and discussed the five keys to running a successful organization:

  • Vision
  • A Plan
  • A Well-Organized Department
  • The Right People
  • Leadership

Alice Hill, University of Virginia law school classmate and now senior counselor to the Secretary, said she wouldn’t have pegged her former study partner as a politician, but said Napolitano immediately distinguished herself by her raw intellect, photographic memory and excellent judgment.

During the two-hour discussion, Fellows also had the opportunity to hear from Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate Rand Beers, and Law Enforcement Advisor to the Secretary Chuck Marino.


Jamie Corbett is a Presidential Management Fellow in the Directorate for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.

Last Updated: 09/20/2018
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