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The HSAAC’s Impact on DHS

By: Trent Frazier, Executive Director, Office of Academic Engagement

The Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC) met in Washington D.C. on June 5, for the 12th time in its history. The HSAAC advises the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leadership on matters of homeland security specifically related to the academic community. The Department’s continued commitment to the higher education community highlights the important work being done on college campuses across the country in defense of our nation.

During the meeting, the HSAAC Academic Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism presented its report to the Council. The report offered several recommendations, developed jointly by academic leaders and subject matter experts. To date, the Council has provided more than 120 recommendations to DHS across its seven subcommittees.

The Council also discussed the Campus Resilience Program and the upcoming 2017 National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise (NTTX) event. The NTTX is a two-day event at the University of Utah that will include workshop sessions, a tabletop exercise and an after-action review session on preparing participants to respond to a campus emergency. This year’s tabletop event will focus on a potential failure in campus infrastructure caused by cyber-attack. The 2016 NTTX tabletop exercise was based on campus active shooter scenario.

The Campus Resilience Program and NTTX resulted from HSAAC recommendations to DHS. The HSAAC has been instrumental in founding several new programs, resources and initiatives across the Department.

After the meeting, Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Elaine C. Duke met with HSAAC members for an informational session on DHS’s key priorities and challenges.

We look forward to the Council’s continued provision of strong, innovative recommendations that advance DHS’s engagement with the higher education community. 

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