Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young has been appointed to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC), which is made up of higher education leaders viewed as instrumental in helping strengthen connections between academia and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the quest to keep the nation safe.
DHS Secretary Jeh C. Johnson announced the appointment of President Young, along with six other university presidents and a president emeritus, at an HSAAC meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Today, I welcomed eight new members to serve on the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council,” said Secretary Johnson. “The HSAAC has been an invaluable asset to the Department and our efforts to partner with the academic community, and DHS remains committed to engaging leaders at colleges and universities across the nation.”
President Young said he is honored to have been selected and looks forward to contributing to the council’s work in helping Secretary Johnson and others in senior leadership positions in the Department of Homeland Security be even more effective going forward in keeping America safe.
“I welcome this opportunity to serve on the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council and am delighted to have an active role in helping strengthen the ties between the nation’s colleges and universities in support of the mission of DHS to take all feasible steps to safeguard our country,” he said.
He pointed out that Texas A&M has numerous programs that contribute to national security. For example, the university’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a certificate program in homeland security, one of the few programs of its type in the nation, and which has provided highly specialized training for numerous individuals in a variety of fields. Also, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets provides more officers for the military than any institution other than the service academies.
President Young has, in addition to his academic credentials representing leadership positions at a variety of top universities, a history of broad-based governmental service. Among other federal appointments, he served as a Deputy Under Secretary and Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of State during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.
DHS officials emphasized that each new member of the council brings “a uniquely qualified expertise on the challenges facing our campuses and the intersections between academia and the mission of DHS.”
In addition to announcing the new council members, DHS announced the formation of a new Academic Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The subcommittee will provide advice and recommendations aimed at enhancing DHS’s CVE-related programs, policies and initiatives. Members also discussed the November 2016 National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education, DHS’s Blue Campaign and received an update on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.
Since its formation, the HSAAC has delivered more than 120 recommendations resulting in new and expanded programs, resources and initiatives to support the academic community, highlighting the value of the HSAAC and its alignment with DHS objectives, officials noted.
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