The Interagency Office (IAO) creates trusted partnerships with government agencies to leverage their investments and other resources, acting as a force multiplier for S&T programs and initiatives. IAO also provides a key conduit for government agencies to capitalize on and leverage S&T innovation.
IAO’s responsibilities are specified in §302 (13) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002: Coordinating with other appropriate executive agencies in developing and carrying out the science and technology agenda of the department to reduce duplication and identify unmet needs.
IAO establishes and maintains a comprehensive understanding of both the internal and external research and development (R&D) landscapes, including:
- S&T programs and initiatives involving opportunities to bring technologies into the program and the potential to transition developed capabilities out to external partners;
- The R&D efforts being invested in by other government agencies;
- The capability needs of other government agencies;
- The whole-of-government and strategic context; and
- Perspectives of external world class domain experts.
IAO employs its relationships with a variety of external experts to gain knowledge and insight that can inform S&T’s strategic plan and its implementation. IAO helps ensure S&T leverages other government assets and capitalizes on emerging trends in the private sector. In this way, IAO is uniquely positioned to provide value to S&T programs and initiatives by:
- Developing and expanding the influence S&T has throughout the Homeland Security Enterprise;
- Promoting better two-way communications with end users;
- Seeking an improved understanding of the capability gaps and technical needs of colleagues in the field; and
- Supporting the Under Secretary’s leadership responsibilities to achieve homeland security missions through IAO collaboration and engagement with other agencies.
IAO maintains leadership roles on several senior-level committees to communicate and shape R&D strategies and discussions across the federal government. Notably, IAO contributes on behalf of S&T to the following:
- National Science and Technology Committee Council
- Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee
Dr. Keith Holtermann is the director (acting) of IAO. Dr. Tod Companion is the deputy director.