Ms. Kathryn Coulter Mitchell serves as Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). She resumes this role following her appointment to serve as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology from May 5, 2021, through September 8, 2022.
As the scientific, technical, and engineering core of expertise for the Department, S&T is a direct adviser to the Homeland Security Secretary, DHS Components, and the nation’s first responders. It is responsible for identifying operational gaps, conceptualizing art-of-the-possible solutions, and delivering operational results that improve the security and resilience of the nation.
As the Chief of Staff, Ms. Coulter Mitchell oversees the operational and organizational needs of the $1 billion, 500-career-employee Directorate. A member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), she serves as an S&T adviser to the Secretary’s office and as a principal adviser to the Under Secretary on strategy, policy, organizational development, communications, and planning. At S&T, Ms. Coulter Mitchell guided the creation of a DHS strategic vision and roadmap for research and development (R&D), the reestablishment of Integrated Product Teams to prioritize and manage DHS R&D investments, and the crafting of strategies for organizational effectiveness. Ms. Coulter Mitchell previously served S&T as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Communications Adviser for the Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary.
Ms. Coulter Mitchell came to DHS after a 15-year career in the private sector and on Capitol Hill. In industry, she provided organizational strategy and communications support to S&T and the Federal Emergency Management Administration where she authored the communications strategy for the multi-million-dollar, multi-agency rollout of Presidential Policy Directive 8. Prior to supporting the government, Ms. Coulter Mitchell was a senior-level public affairs specialist at a top Washington, D.C. public relations firm. She also served as the Director of Policy for an association of over 350 federal contracting companies. Before joining industry, Ms. Coulter Mitchell spent five years on Capitol Hill leading legislative efforts in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Ms. Coulter Mitchell holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a professional certification in Executive Coaching from the University of Cambridge, U.K.