Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today swore in eight new members to the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC): Jayson P. Ahern, Stewart A. Baker, Frank J. Cilluffo, Mark J. Dannels, Carol DiBattiste, Cathy Lanier, Wendy Smith-Reeve, and Chad Sweet.

HSAC is a Federal advisory committee intended to provide the DHS Secretary with “independent, informed recommendations, and advice on a variety of homeland security issues,” according to a DHS release.

The council is made of up national policymakers; state, local, and tribal government representatives; emergency and first responder leaders; academics; and private sector representatives.

“My vision for the HSAC, consistent with its charter, is to seek their strategic, timely, specific and actionable advice on a range of homeland security issues,” said Sec. Nielsen. “The department relies on the unique perspectives and strategic advice provided by HSAC members to help address emerging threats in a rapidly changing world. I’m confident that the new members sworn in today will contribute to this important mission.”

Four of the new HSAC members–Jayson P. Ahern, Frank J. Cilluffo, Carol DiBattiste, and Chad Sweet–have extensive experience in cybersecurity, supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection, data analytics, and privacy, according to biographies provided by DHS:

  • Jayson P. Ahern is a principal and head of security services practice at The Chertoff Group. In this role, he advises clients on a broad range of issues including homeland and border security management, global commerce and supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection, risk management, and strategic planning and implementation;
  • Frank J. Cilluffo directs the McCrary Institute for Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection at Auburn University. Prior to joining Auburn, Cilluffo founded and directed the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at George Washington University where he led a number of national security and cybersecurity policy and research initiatives. Cilluffo previously served as special assistant to the President for Homeland Security. Immediately following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Cilluffo was appointed by President George W. Bush to the newly created Office of Homeland Security;
  • Carol DiBattiste is currently the general counsel & chief compliance, privacy and people officer at comScore. She has served in numerous leadership positions throughout government, including the United States Department of Defense, where she was Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs; and
  • Chad Sweet is the co-founder & CEO of The Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm and investment bank exclusively focused on the security sector. Mr. Sweet was the former Chief of Staff of DHS and served in the CIA. He currently serves as chairman of Trustwave Government Services as well as a director of the corporate boards of Coalfire and Salient CRGT.
Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.