PNSR Recommendations Reflected in New DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

January 7, 2010 in News by admin

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the creation of a new office of Intergovernmental Affairs, an office proposed by PNSR in a white paper distributed to DHS leadership in the spring of 2009. The aim of the office is to better coordinate homeland security initiatives between state, local, territorial, and tribal authorities, and their DHS home base.

Led by PNSR homeland security expert Josh Filler, PNSR proposed the creation of an office with this mission in a white paper distributed to Secretary Janet Napolitano, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate Rand Beers, and Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs Juliette Kayyern, along with representatives from some twenty homeland security and emergency management stakeholder associations. Important to the necessary establishment of this office, the paper emphasizes, is “the [current] absence of a robust department-level intergovernmental coordination office… [as it] impedes the ability to ensure national success in meeting homeland security imperatives.” This view was shared by DHS in housing this office within the Executive Office of the Secretary.

Further, In in establishing an Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as PNSR’s Homeland Security team proposed, a key element to success is that the office is viewed as credible by state, local, and tribal authorities. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs “must have effective, consequential ‘in-reach’ within DHS and across the component agencies,” the paper asserts.

In commenting on the new office, Secretary Napolitano said, “The new DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) reflects my commitment to strengthening the Department’s engagement with state, local and tribal partners across the country. As a former Governor, I understand the importance of close coordination between all levels of government as we work to ensure the safety and security of all Americans. The new IGA office will integrate outreach efforts across the Department under a single, primary point of contact at DHS headquarters—enhancing our capabilities as we work to create a national culture of readiness and resilience.”

To read more about PNSR’s proposals, download the paper here. We invite your comment and feedback to