CHDS Holds First Annual Lacy E. Suiter Policy Forum
The Center for Homeland Defense and Security hosted the first annual Lacy E. Suiter Policy Forum and Executive Seminar for
public and private homeland security officials in Monterey, Calif., Oct. 15-16. The seminar was designed to bring together leading
homeland security practitioners to discuss and debate the future of emergency management in the United States; specifically focusing
on policies, strategies and implications.
The forum is named after Lacy E. Suiter who was one of the nation’s most experienced and respected emergency management and
homeland security leaders. Mr. Suiter’s career spanned 40 years during which time he led several federal and state emergency
management and homeland security organizations. He was a pioneer in the evolution of emergency management and homeland security
and played a significant role in their development as professional disciplines. Suiter was always challenging those around him to
come up with the next policy or strategy that would make what he called a "quantum leap," in emergency management or
The two day forum allowed attendees to discuss openly the strategic direction and policies that will best achieve an effective
system of emergency management in the United States. Topical presentations and facilitated discussions were led by subject matter
experts that exposed attendees to the critical and important issues. Participants were then able to share innovative ideas and
cutting edge theories on ways to advance and improve the future of emergency management and homeland security. "The forum
explored both the tough issues evident in current emergency management approaches and discussed the future environment in which
emergency management must exist. The relationship between emergency management and homeland security, the strategic concept of
resilience, the use of network-based methodologies, the future of Web-based technologies and the dramatic changes in the media
landscape all fueled a very vigorous exchange of ideas," said CHDS Director Glen Woodbury.
Mr. Suiter‘s legacy and memory was at the forefront of every discussion and topic during the forum.
"We frequently and consistently reminded ourselves of Lacy’s philosophies," said Woodbury. "We all wanted to make
sure we were thinking big enough and looking over the horizon, just as Lacy would have wanted. Participants continually asked themselves,
‘What would Lacy think?’" Major General Timothy Lowenberg, Commanding General of the Washington State Military Department
felt that the forum was significant because it gave practitioners the opportunity to look at emergency management in a
visionary way and identify important issues that the next administration must address. A final report will identify the
conclusions and recommendations of the panel.
The Center for Homeland Defense and Security would like to thank the many people who generously contributed to the Lacy Suiter Policy
Forum. We would also like to thank our DHS and FEMA sponsors for giving us the opportunity to hold this event. More information on
the Lacy E. Suiter Policy Forum can be found here.