Tom Ridge Joins the Project on National Security Reform’s Guiding Coalition

February 2, 2011 in News

First Secretary of Homeland Security to Contribute Guidance on Critical National Security Concerns

WASHINGTON, DC – The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) is pleased to announce that The Honorable Tom Ridge has joined PNSR’s Guiding Coalition, a group of pre-eminent national security leaders working to transform the national security system. Secretary Ridge joins former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, former Treasury Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt and former OMB Director James Nussle as recent appointments to the Guiding Coalition.

Ridge, the nation’s first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and former governor of Pennsylvania, is currently president and CEO of Ridge Global, an international security and risk management firm, headquartered in Washington, DC.

Of PNSR’s work, Ridge said, “Every day I see the serious challenges in the national security system that PNSR is working to resolve. I am pleased to contribute to PNSR’s important mission.”

During his tenure as secretary of DHS, Ridge worked with more than 180,000-plus employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Ridge served as secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.

PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “I am delighted that to welcome Secretary Ridge as a member of the PNSR team as we enter an exciting phase of continuing growth and maturity. His deep experience as a governor of change in Pennsylvania and as the first secretary of homeland security will be a tremendous asset.”

Prior to his appointment at DHS, Ridge became the first director of the White House Office of Homeland Security following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Ridge’s charge was to develop a comprehensive homeland security strategy and coordinate the government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s protection against terrorist attacks.

Ridge was twice elected governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001, where he led the state to excel in economic development, education, health and the environment. In 1982, he became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was overwhelmingly re-elected by Pennsylvania voters five times. Ridge graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1967 and received his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law.

“Tom Ridge brings perspectives from state government, the executive branch, and legislative branch – all incredibly important given that our national security requires that we work together throughout all levels of government to keep our nation secure,” said Locher.