You are here

About the Office of National Laboratories

About the Office of National Laboratories

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of National Laboratories (ONL) overseesScientist Conducts Research a coordinated network of five DHS laboratories and as many as 13 Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories that are vital to the national homeland security mission. This extensive network enables America’s brightest scientists and engineers to apply their expertise and develop solutions that address our most dangerous threats and homeland security vulnerabilities.

  • Our Mission: To strengthen America’s security by providing expertise and innovative technology solutions for America’s homeland security community.
  • Our Vision: To achieve a safer and more resilient America through an integrated laboratory network that provides the most effective science and technology solutions to enhance our security.
  • Our People: Dedicated public servants and support staff who bring determination and focus to the mission.

What We Do

ONL is arranged into three branches that work collaboratively with  laboratories and key stakeholders to deliver mature vital science and technology capabilities and effective technology solutions to secure our homeland:

  • Our Utilization Branch focuses on effective use of the DOE national laboratories and the five DHS laboratories for research, test, evaluation and technology transition activities in service of homeland security missions. The branch develops policies and proposals for the effective use of laboratories for DHS work. In addition, the branch is a primary driver in setting the laboratories’ research agendas and ensuring continuity of capabilities; establishing, managing and maintaining strategic partnerships; leading strategic alignment initiatives; and representing ONL on technology and science interagency working groups.
  • Our Program Executive Office oversees planning, budgeting and management of DHS laboratory infrastructure, construction and upgrade projects. The DHS laboratories’ physical buildings and facilities house dynamic research, as well as important development, test and evaluation work in support of DHS missions. The branch and its projects also maintain and provide space for research and development (R&D) capabilities that support other agencies with interrelated homeland security missions. ONL construction investments include future national assets that meet the need for a capability that does not exist, such as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. In addition, the branch’s work seeks to extend the life and crucial capabilities within existing DHS laboratory facilities as efficiently as possible.
  • Our Operations Branch provides operational oversight for the five DHS laboratories to ensure mission needs are met. It fills a vital role by ensuring each lab operates in a safe and secure manner, compliant with federal, state and local regulations. The branch plans and budgets the resources to provide a range of capabilities: physical facilities and support structures, federal staff, management and operations, contractors, equipment, information technology, safety and security and other lab support needs. The branch is also responsible for ensuring continuity of operations for the laboratories in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.

Learn more about our work.

Our Capabilities

ONL maintains critical laboratory assets and coordinate activities that provide efficient delivery of effective solutions to secure our homeland, including technological innovations, breakthroughs, rapid response capabilities and deployment of solutions to meet DHS mission needs.

We offer the homeland security community opportunities to leverage, transfer and apply a wealth of expertise that informs policy, improves operations and advances research needed to keep America safe.

DHS Laboratory Complex Facilities

DHS S&T's five laboratories support core DHS mission needs and provide specialized technical expertise and world-class research facilities to DHS and other partners. These facilities support a diverse portfolio of capabilities to serve all of DHS and the extended homeland security community. More than 700 federal and contract positions support these five laboratories.

DOE National Laboratories and Sites

DHS leverages DOE national laboratories and sites to create a networked laboratory system supporting the nation's homeland security. DOE owns 17 national laboratories, which are operated by Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and DHS leverages 13 of the DOE national laboratories in support of DHS priorities and missions. ONL facilitates the utilization of DOE national laboratories leveraging their respective capabilities, while minimizing potential duplication of effort and maximizing return on investment. S&T works closely with DOE and its national laboratories to identify opportunities to address the technological needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise.



Department of Homeland Security

245 Murray Lane, SW

Washington, D.C. 20528


Was this page helpful?

This page was not helpful because the content:
Back to Top