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Homeland Security

Office of the Secretary

The Office of the Secretary oversees Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to counter terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage our borders while facilitating trade and travel, enforce and administer our immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, build resilience to disasters, and provide essential support for national and economic security - in coordination with federal, state, local, international and private sector partners.


The Privacy Office works to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote transparency of Department of Homeland Security operations, and to serve as a leader in the privacy community.

The office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) provides legal and policy advice to Department leadership on civil rights and civil liberties issues, investigates and resolves complaints, and provides leadership to Equal Employment Opportunity Programs.

The Office of Inspector General is responsible for conducting and supervising audits, investigations, and inspections relating to the programs and operations of the Department, recommending ways for the Department to carry out its responsibilities in the most effective, efficient, and economical manner possible.

The Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to ensure national security and the integrity of the legal immigration system, increase efficiencies in administering citizenship and immigration services, and improve customer service.

The Office of Legislative Affairs serves as primary liaison to members of Congress and their staffs, the White House and Executive Branch, and to other federal agencies and governmental entities that have roles in assuring national security.

The Office of the General Counsel integrates approximately 1700 lawyers from throughout the Department into an effective, client-oriented, full-service legal team and comprises a headquarters office with subsidiary divisions and the legal programs for eight Department components. The Office of the General Counsel includes the ethics division for the Department.

The Office of Public Affairs coordinates the public affairs activities of all of the Department’s components and offices, and serves as the federal government’s lead public information office during a national emergency or disaster. Led by the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, it comprises the press office, incident and strategic communications, speechwriting, Web content management, and employee communications.

The Office of the Executive Secretary (ESEC) provides all manner of direct support to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, as well as related support to leadership and management across the Department. This support takes many forms, the most well known being accurate and timely dissemination of information and written communications from throughout the Department and our homeland security partners to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary.

The Military Advisor's Office advises on facilitating, coordinating and executing policy, procedures, preparedness activities and operations between the Department and the Department of Defense.

Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA): IGA has the mission of promoting an integrated national approach to homeland security by ensuring, coordinating, and advancing federal interaction with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

Last Published Date: January 5, 2015
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