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  1. Home
  2. About DHS
  3. Organization
  4. Office of the Secretary
  5. Partnership and Engagement

Office of Partnership and Engagement

The Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE) mission is to ensure a unified approach to external engagement through coordination of the Department of Homeland Security’s outreach efforts with critical stakeholders nationwide.  OPE partners and conducts strategic engagements and outreach with state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) governments, elected officials, the private sector, faith-based and non-governmental organizations (NGO), academia, and communities. OPE advocates and represents interests of these stakeholders through the Department’s policy making process and serves as a conduit for the Secretary to engage with stakeholders and to share information. Additionally, OPE oversees four (4) advisory councils: the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Tribal Homeland Security Council, the Faith-based Security Advisory Council, and the Homeland Security Academic Partnership Council.

  • Assistant Secretary, Office of Partnership and Engagement, Fayrouz Saad
  • Faith-Based Organization Security Coordinator, Fayrouz Saad
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Partnership and Engagement, Rebecca K.K. Sternhell
  • Chief of Staff, Office of Partnership and Engagement, Nathaniel Snyder
  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Partnership and Engagement, Cynthia Briscoe
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (acting), Brian Hyer
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary (acting), Private Sector Office, Patrick Schmidt
  • Executive Director (DFO) (acting), Homeland Security Advisory Council, Rebecca K.K. Sternhell
  • Executive Director, Social Impact and Campaigns, Karinda L. Washington
  • Director, Committee Management Office, Mike Miron
  • Director, Non-Governmental Organizations, Nicole Rosich

Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) promotes an integrated national approach to homeland security by coordinating and advancing federal interaction with state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments. IGA is responsible for opening the homeland security dialogue with executive-level partners at the SLTT levels, along with the national associations that represent them.

Private Sector Office

The Private Sector Office (PSO) provides the Secretary and Department leaders with advice on issues relevant to the private sector, including academia, non-profits, NGOs, and businesses.

The Private Sector Office:

  • Engages businesses, trade associations and other non-governmental organizations to foster dialogue with the Department.
  • Advises the Secretary on prospective policies and regulations and in many cases on their economic impact.
  • Promotes public-private partnerships and best practices to improve the nation's homeland security.
  • Promotes Department policies to the private sector.

Loaned Executive Program

The Loaned Executive Program is a special opportunity (unpaid) that provides top executive-level talent from the private sector an opportunity to share their expertise with Homeland Security. Through the Loaned Executive Program, Homeland Security is working with the private sector on innovative solutions to our homeland security challenges. The Department is looking to the nation’s top executives and industry experts to partner with us as we strive to solve problems, improve processes, and fully realize our mission.

Office of Academic Engagement

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains numerous relationships with members of the academic community and directly engages with school administrators, faculty, and students on a range of issues. DHS strengthened its outreach efforts to academic institutions by forming the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE), which supports DHS’s mission by building, improving and leveraging relationships with the academic community.

OAE’s work with the academic community occurs across DHS, and focuses on six key areas:

  • Academic Research and Faculty Exchange: Taps into the expertise of the nation's colleges and universities to address pressing homeland security needs;
  • Campus Resilience: Strengthens the ability of colleges and universities to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk;
  • Cyber security: Strengthens partnerships to enhance DHS’s cybersecurity recruitment efforts and support resilient campus systems and network;
  • Homeland Security Academic Programs: Supports academic programs that help create an educated and informed workforce now and in the future;
  • International Students: Advances opportunities for international students to study in America while maintaining the integrity of the immigration process; and
  • Student and Recent Graduate Recruitment: Focuses on the unique career opportunities that DHS offers in a variety of fields to build the next generation of homeland security leaders.

Non-Governmental Organizations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) engages with non-governmental organizations (NGO) to share reliable information about DHS programs and policies. Visit NGO Resources.

Faith-Based Security Advisory Council and Faith-Based Organizations

The Faith-Based Security Advisory Council (FBSAC) provides organizationally independent, strategic, timely, specific and actionable advice to the Secretary through the Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement who also serves as the DHS Faith-Based Organization Security Coordinator. The FBSAC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary and other senior leadership on matters related to protecting houses of worship, preparedness and enhanced coordination with the faith community. FBSAC advice may include:

  • Strategy and Policy: Recommendations for the development of strategies and policies that will further the Department's ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, or other emergencies.
  • Information-sharing and Coordination: Recommendations for improving coordination and sharing of threat and security-related information, internally across the Department, externally across the Federal Government, and among state, local, tribal governments, first responders, the private and non-private sectors, academia, and research communities.
  • Management and Implementation: Recommendations for the development and implementation of specific programs or initiatives to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and targeted violence.
  • Evaluation and Feedback: Recommendations for the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department's faith-based organization security programs (e.g. two-way information sharing, facilitate training, building of bridges between faith-based communities and their law enforcement partners, addressing community issues of concerns, FEMA's non-profit security grant program, security training and tools for faith-based organizations, etc. Recommendations also prioritize how to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from domestic and international terrorist attacks (e.g. white supremacist extremist attacks). This includes providing feedback on how DHS can address the needs of the faith-based community against evolving and future threats as they arise.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also partners with the faith-based stakeholders community to strengthen the nation's resilience across the homeland security enterprise. The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Opportunity Initiatives provides faith-based organizations (FBO) with resources to prepare for, respond to, mitigate through, and recover from major events and disasters. 

Committee Management Office

The Committee Management Office (CMO) exercises control and lends oversight to all DHS Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) related committees; equips the Designated Federal Officials (DFO) and Alternate Designated Official (DFO) of each committee with the tools necessary to carry out their committee duties, facilitates stakeholder discussions; offers innovative solutions to FACA issues; and routinely provides the Department’s senior leaders with a snapshot of the FACA program.

Homeland Security Advisory Council

The Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) leverages the experience and expertise through national and global connections of the HSAC membership to provide the Secretary and senior leadership organizationally independent, strategic, timely, specific, and actionable advice to support decision making across the spectrum of homeland security operations. The council is comprised of national, academic, and private sector leaders as well as senior level officials from state, local, and tribal governments. The HSAC currently has six active subcommittees: the Foreign Fighter Task Force, the DHS Employee Task Force, the DHS Grant Review Task Force, the CBP Integrity Advisory Panel, the Faith Based Security and Communications Subcommittee, and the Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

The Office of Social Impact and Campaigns

The Office of Social Impact and Campaigns (SI) fosters community engagement across the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s mission space, with special emphasis on engaging underrepresented and underserved communities. SI coordinates outreach with community, faith-based, and non-governmental/nonprofit organizations to build trust and establish a routine process for collaboration with diverse community leaders. 

SI also oversees a national public awareness campaign, the “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign to educate on the indicators of terrorism, terrorism-related crime, and domestic violent extremism.

For more information, please contact DHSImpact@hq.dhs.gov.

“If You See Something, Say Something®” Public Awareness Campaign

The "If You See Something, Say Something®" public awareness campaign works with federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners to enhance the public's awareness of suspicious activity related to terrorism and terrorism-related crime. To accomplish this, the campaign develops public awareness materials that encourage the public to report suspicious activity to the appropriate law enforcement authorities within their communities.

More from DHS

State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Contacts

State, Local and Tribal Grant Programs

  • The Department of Homeland Security Office of Partnership Engagement is committed to providing accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to individuals with disabilities, including members of the public and federal employees, by meeting or exceeding the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires agencies, during the procurement, development, maintenance, or use of ICT, to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to and use of ICT information and data comparable to the access and use afforded to individuals without disabilities (i.e., “ICT accessibility”), unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The Section 508 standards are the technical requirements and criteria that are used to measure conformance with the law and incorporate the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. More information on Section 508 and the technical standards can be found on Section508.gov.
  • If you believe that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) used by the Department of Homeland Security does not comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, please go the DHS Accessibility Website for instructions on how to file a formal complaint.
  • To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the preferred format in which to receive the material, the web address (URL) of the material with which you are having difficulty, and your contact information.
  • If you have comments and/or questions related to the agency’s Section 508 program, please contact the Office of Accessible Systems & Technology
Last Updated: 07/03/2024
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