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  4. DHS Announces New Members of Faith-Based Security Advisory Council

DHS Announces New Members of Faith-Based Security Advisory Council

Release Date: September 19, 2022

Council members represent diverse faith communities across the country

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the appointment of 25 members to the reinvigorated Faith-Based Security Advisory Council, in advance of the first meeting on October 6, 2022. Council members will advise the Secretary on the needs of the faith community relating to security and preparedness matters across all aspects of the DHS mission.

“These prominent faith and law enforcement leaders will help us build and strengthen the community partnerships that are so vital to our mission success,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We will work together to increase access to our services, ensure equity, maintain openness and transparency, and fully restore the trust of the communities we serve.”

The Council will provide organizationally independent, strategic, timely, specific, and actionable advice to the Secretary on diverse homeland security matters.  Specifically, the Council’s contributions will enhance the Department’s work to protect houses of worship; improve coordination and information sharing of threat information with the faith community, and through the faith community, within the broader communities in which they serve; increase access to DHS resources by building trust and addressing potential barriers; and prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of targeted violence, terrorism, and other threats.

Secretary Mayorkas has appointed the following individuals to the Council:

  • Chandru Acharya, Member, Plymouth Canton Interfaith Community Outreach  
  • Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali, Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center / Co-Founder, Multi-Faith Neighbors Network 
  • Salam Al-Marayati, Co-Founder and President, Muslim Public Affairs Council 
  • Deputy Chief Tracie Baker, Arlington Police Department, Texas  
  • Kimberly Burgo, Vice President, Disaster Operations, Catholic Charities USA 
  • Rev. Jeffery Cooper, General Secretary and Chief Information Officer, African Methodist Episcopal Church 
  • Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, Chief Operating Officer, National Council of Churches 
  • Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund 
  • Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
  • Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, National Commander, The Salvation Army 
  • Hyepin Im, President and Founder, Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE)
  • Curtis Jones, National Deputy Sector Chief - Manager Religious Facilities Protection Program (RFPP), InfraGard National Members Alliance  
  • Alberto Martinez, Director, Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center Orange County Sheriff’s Department 
  • Michael Masters, National Director & CEO, Secure Community Network 
  • Sheriff Garry McFadden, 45th Sheriff of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina  
  • Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism
  • Todd Richins, Church Security Department, Field Operations Division Director, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Mayya Saab, Executive Director, Faith Based Information Sharing and Analysis Organization 
  • Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition 
  • Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, CEO Emerita, Rabbinical Assembly
  • Chief Issa Shahin, Dearborn, Michigan Police Department 
  • Imam Talib Shareef, Nation's Mosque / Masjid Muhammed 
  • Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder & President, National Action Network
  • Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, City of Philadelphia
  • April Wood, President/CEO, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters 

“This Council is an important way for the Department to engage formally with critical partners on issues impacting faith communities, said Brenda Abdelall, Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement. “Members of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council will provide valuable insight that will benefit our stakeholders nationwide on important issues within the scope of the Department's mission."

The Council’s membership reflects President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ priorities on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will ensure a wide range of diverse voices across various faith traditions. The members announced today represent various faith communities and a diversity of denominations, including from the Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities, as well as law enforcement. 

The first meeting of this Council will be convened by Secretary Mayorkas and held virtually on October 6, 2022.

To learn more about the Council, please visit: https://www.dhs.gov/faith-based-security-advisory-council.

Last Updated: 09/19/2022
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