I recently published a piece in Defense Media Network about the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence (CoE) initiative. The Centers offer an opportunity to connect academics and researchers with the homeland professionals who work to protect the country every day. As a result, homeland agencies get access to tailored security solutions, the CoE receive work and research from intelligent students, which drive solutions, and the students themselves acquire the skill sets and experience needed to propel them into homeland security careers. This is an important effort in building America’s homeland capabilities and in developing homeland security as profession. Check out the full article to read about how the CoE effort is maturing into a lasting part of America’s homeland security landscape.

An additional note: In reporting for the article, I spoke with Matt Clark, director of university programs at the Science and Technology Directorate, and John Verrico, spokesman for S&T. Government employees, at DHS and elsewhere, can be difficult to interview – many are tight-lipped when speaking with the press. Not so with Clark and Verrico. They offered a wealth of knowledge and insight. Their readiness to speak openly about the CoE effort was impressive and was by far the most enlightening interview I have conducted with federal employees. Kudos to both men for being so helpful and forthcoming with details about the important work they are doing.

Justin Hienz is Editor for Security Debrief. He blogs primarily on radicalization, aviation security, religious and Middle Eastern affairs, and communications. Read More