Thirty-three students complete NPS-CHDS Executive Leaders Program

Glen Woodbury, Ellen Gordon, and Sara Kay address the ELP cohort at their graduation ceremony.

On February 13, thirty-three students were honored for successfully completing the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders Program (ELP) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

The students comprise professionals from the fields of homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, the fire service, public health, education, along with city, county and state government (see list below). Sara Kay, Executive Director at Kaiser Permanente and CHDS Senior Consultant, reflected on the collaborative nature of this cohort, “ELP 1901 participants gelled from the first in-residence and immediately recognized the value and importance of learning from their colleagues in different disciplines. The cohort built lasting relationships which are already leading to cross-sector collaboration and partnerships which will serve to strengthen our nation’s preparedness.”

Brian Harrell receives his certificate of completion during the graduation ceremony.

Being at the forefront of a rapidly changing environment requires continuous education for our nation’s homeland security leaders. The Executive Leaders Program provides a deeper understanding of the current and emerging homeland security issues, public policy debates, the terrorist threat and evolving best practices. Tim Belsan, Chief of National Security & Affirmative Litigation Unit for the U.S. Department of Justice, summarized “The depth and quality of the experience brought to the table by my cohort provided a unique and invaluable learning opportunity that will impact my career going forward.” Fully engaging in these trends through an educational forum enhances our senior leaders’ capacity to identify and resolve homeland security problems as well as an opportunity to build networks among the nation’s local, state, tribal, territorial, federal government, and private sector homeland security officials.

Some of the first responders from this cohort.

This program consists of four modules beginning with foundational aspects of homeland security and the threats, followed by the nature of the threats, legal and cultural aspects of preventing and preparing for the threats, the collaborations necessary to effectively manage the information sharing, threat recognition, protection measures, and plans in preparation for action. Brian Harrell, Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), shared his insight “The Department of Homeland Security continues to benefit, and use, the thought leadership that comes out of the CHDS program. The timely security topics and discussions are ultimately making our public and private first responder communities stronger.” Some of the topics covered in the final in-residence session included Leading in a Multi-Generational Organization, Climate Change Science and Decisions, The Psychology of Terrorism and Violent Extremism, and Exploring Public/Private Partnerships in Responding to Disasters. ELP cohort 1901 represents the twenty-sixth cadre of students to complete the program, increasing the number of ELP alumni to over 750 total participants.

NPS-CHDS Executive Leaders Program cohort ELP1901

Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Executive Leaders Program (ELP) cohort 1901

Jason Ackleson – Director of Strategy, DHS Headquarters

William Barnes – Executive Director, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, IL

Timothy Belsan – Chief, National Security & Affirmative Litigation Unit, U.S. Department of Justice

Taylor Blunt – Firefighter/Paramedic, Arlington County Fire Department, VA

Curtis Brown – Chief Deputy State Coordinator, Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Katie Burkhart – Strategy Advisor, U.S. Coast Guard

Jessica Byrski – Senior Policy Analyst, National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)

Jeffery Carroll – Assistant Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington D.C.

Charles Cox – Deputy Branch Chief, NORAD and USNORTHCOM J5

Wes Dison – Assistant Director, Operations & Coordination & Director/CIO, Communications, Technology & IT Assurance, Arizona Dept. of Emergency & Military Affairs

Lawton Dodd – News Director, KSBW-TV / Hearst Television

Kevin Duffy – Commander, U.S. Coast Guard

Brian Dugan – ASAC, FBI

Scott Ebner – Lt. Colonel, Deputy Superintendent of Investigations, New Jersey State Police

Natalie Gutierrez – Managing Director of Administration, City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications

Kevin Hafemann – Deputy Chief of Special Operations, Milwaukee Fire Department

James Hanson – Battalion Fire Chief, District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department

Brian Harrell – Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Amy Hauck – Asst. Commander, Texas Joint Crime Information Center – Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, Texas Department of Public Safety

Ronald Hess – National Counterterrorism Center Liaison to the National Vetting Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Jonathan Hickey – Special Advisor to the Vice President, U.S. Coast Guard

Melisa Hucks – Chief of Staff, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Anna Kudrav-Tague – Assistant Chief of Police, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

Bryan Lockerby – Administrator, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation

Andrew Mark – Director of Transportation & Infrastructure, New York City Emergency Management

Andrew Natiw – Captain, NYPD

Ronald Rosati – Deputy Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service

Adrian Sheppard – Fire Chief, City of Richmond Fire, CA

Eric Stancliff – Lieutenant/Deputy Director, Criminal Investigations Division, Montgomery County Police Department, MD

Mardrah Starks-Robinson – Deputy Bureau Director, Louisiana Department of Health

Rachel Sulaymanov – Executive Director of Intergovernmental Affairs,

Ron Thomas – Division Chief, New York City Emergency Management

Sean Waters – General Manager, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey