S&T uses the knowledge of science and tools of technology to make our country, our communities, and our families more secure across the broad spectrum of threats facing the homeland—from counterterrorism to natural disasters. The successful execution of this mission rests significantly on whether we can transform our approach to research and development (R&D). To aid in this transformation, I’m pleased to share with you the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2015–2019. This Strategic Plan serves as the directorate’s roadmap for how we plan to serve as a model for federal R&D, engage our stakeholders in a continuous and dynamic dialogue, and communicate to industry S&T’s priorities.
In crafting this plan, I made four observations that I think are important to keep in mind as we implement this plan. First, DHS’s operational and oversight responsibilities are enormous. As a department, we face complex operational threats and provide a range of solutions from tactical niche solutions to vast national-level capabilities. Second, I believe a balanced R&D portfolio teeming with innovative and force multiplying solutions is critical to ensuring the safety, security, and resilience of the homeland. Providing frontline operators with tools that secure them the upper hand in their respective environments is paramount. Third, S&T has a passionate and dedicated workforce. Walking the halls, I am invigorated by the widespread enthusiasm for our mission. Our workforce is hungry to contribute, and we have the technical expertise and depth to work hand-in-hand with operators and end users. Fourth, the federal government is no longer the majority provider of R&D funding, and we can no longer assume we have access to the best minds if we work exclusively through who and what we already know. To be a 21st-century R&D organization, we must tap innovation engines in the venture capital world, Silicon Valley, and universities. The more vehicles there are to work with those performers, the more effectively and efficiently S&T can develop security solutions.
To turn these observations into action we will look to this Strategic Plan and our five Visionary Goals—Screening At Speed, a Trusted Cyber Future, Enable the Decision Maker, Responder of the Future, and Resilient Communities—to guide our resource investments and unite our staff. These goals serve as our “North Star” and the basis for S&T’s strategy. Equally important is how we deliver on these goals. We will choose projects strategically, ensuring they are force multipliers that address critical end-user needs and align with the investments of our partner R&D organizations and industry. We will focus on energizing the Homeland Security Industrial Base to invest in future capabilities that will ensure the safety, security, and resilience of our nation. Finally, we will establish a strong and healthy leadership culture within the directorate.
I encourage you to review this Strategic Plan and provide feedback via our various communication platforms, such as the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology