We are a coalition of families, health care advocates, security experts, businesses and non-profits who believe it is time to close a dangerous security gap that leaves our nation vulnerable to foreign attacks and invites illegal and toxic drugs into our communities.
The Honorable Tom Ridge
Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania.
During his DHS tenure, Secretary 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. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.
Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment.
Born August 26, 1945, in Pittsburgh’s Steel Valley, Ridge was raised in a working-class family in veterans’ public housing in Erie. He earned a scholarship to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967.
After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.
Secretary Ridge regularly addresses audiences on a range of issues, including international business, security and leadership. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and other private and public entities. He is currently chairman of the National Organization on Disability and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force.
Juliette Kayyem has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. She is currently the Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard Kennedy School and an on-air security analyst for CNN. She also hosts a regular podcast entitled Security Mom for WGBH, Boston’s local NPR station, and her newest book, Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home, was published in April.
Most recently, she was President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also organized major policy efforts in immigration reform and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, and overseeing the National Guard.
She has served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She is the recipient of many government honors, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard’s highest medal awarded to a civilian. In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.
Juliette is a board member of Mass Inc., the International Centre for Sport Security, and the Red Cross of MA. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and the mother of three children, she is married to First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron.
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP)
Coalition of Services Industries
FOA Families of Addicts
Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
International Game Technology
International Warehousing and Logistics Association
Johnson and Johnson
National Association of State EMS Officials
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Sony Music Entertainment
Universal Music Group
Warner Music Group
Wyoming Trucking Association