WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the Department has become a member of the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). As the first new member of the interagency USGCRP body in nearly two decades, DHS will join as its 14th member agency. USGCRP’s membership consists of agencies that conduct global change research and use it to carry out their missions, creating opportunities for decision-makers to communicate information needs directly to scientists and for scientists to support informed decision-making.
"The Department of Homeland Security is honored to be the newest member of the United States Global Change Research Program, and we look forward to working with the other members to strengthen our nation’s preparedness and resilience against climate change and other challenges we face,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “To address the evolving challenges we face, we are constantly looking to build greater cohesion both within the federal government and outside of it. DHS’s membership on the USGCRP is part of that critical effort and supports our enduring mission to safeguard the homeland.”
As a formal member of the USGCRP, DHS will have a seat at the table to leverage scientific research to strengthen the nation’s preparedness and resilience, a crucial tenet of the Department’s mission. From 2023-2024, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will serve as the first representative for the Department for a two-year term, after which representation will rotate to the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). FEMA will coordinate with other DHS components, such as the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), United States Coast Guard (USCG), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) throughout its term.
As DHS’s first representative at the USGCRP, FEMA will have the opportunity to influence and provide input on climate change research that will allow FEMA to better fulfill its mission and achieve FEMA’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The Plan outlines a bold vision and three ambitious goals designed to address key challenges, which includes leading communities in climate resilience.
“Climate change is the crisis of this generation, and combating it requires mitigating future risks to build resilience nationwide,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “In partnership with federal agencies, we are continuing to analyze how climate change is threatening the well-being of people across the nation and identifying next steps to protect communities nationwide. As the Department’s primary representative in the program, we will work with our partners to provide input on climate change research to better fulfill our Department’s mission while also advancing FEMA’s strategic goal to lead whole of community in climate resilience.”
USGCRP was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress as “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” The Program emphasizes research that can be used to answer critical questions about the changing Earth system and how the world can respond to those changes. USGCRP is also charged with “disseminating research information that would be useful in preventing, mitigating or adapting to the effects of global change.”
To learn more about the USGCRP and the 13 other federal agency members, visit USGCRP’s website.