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Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force

On Tuesday, July 14, 2009, Secretary Napolitano established the Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force to conduct a 60-day review of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The mission of the task force is to assess the effectiveness of the system in informing the public about terrorist threats and communicating protective measures within government and throughout the private sector.

Secretary Napolitano appointed Fran Townsend, former Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security, and Judge William Webster, former director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to co-chair the task force and lead the review. The review is one of a number of steps Secretary Napolitano has taken to bolster the Department's counterterrorism efforts.

The review will include broad consideration of HSAS and the system's impact on state, local, tribal, territorial and international law enforcement partners, the private sector and the American people. The task force will consult with the Department of Justice-under which HSAS was originally created-and provide opportunities for public input. In addition, the Department will take public comment directly via email at hsasreview@dhs.gov.

Following the 60-day review period, the task force will present its findings to Secretary Napolitano, who will, in turn, discuss the findings with other Cabinet officials before making a recommendation about the future of the system to the White House.


White Papers

Membership List


Fran Townsend – Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
William Webster – Chair of Homeland Security Advisory Council and former Director of CIA and FBI


Michael Assante – Chief Security Officer, North Electric Reliability Corp.
Randy Beardsworth – Former Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans at the Department, principal with Catalyst Partners
Richard Ben-Veniste – Partner, Mayer Brown, LLP, and 9/11 Commission member
Alfred Berkeley III – Chairman and CEO of Pipeline Trading Systems, LLC
Matt Bettenhausen – California Homeland Security Advisor
David Bradley – Owner, Atlantic Media Group
James Carafano – Senior Member, Heritage Foundation
Manny Diaz – Mayor of Miami, Fla.
Clark Ervin – Director, Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Program and former Inspector General for the Department
Mary Fetchet – Founding Director, VOICES of September 11th
Shirley Franklin – Mayor, Atlanta, Ga.
Rick Fuentes – Superintendent, New Jersey State Police and State Director of Emergency Management
George Gascon – San Francisco Chief of Police
Christine Gregoire – Governor of Washington
Michael Rounds – Governor of South Dakota
Joe Shirley - President of Navajo Nation
Ed Skyler – Deputy Mayor of New York City

Last Updated: 01/23/2023
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