Women in Homeland Security: 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Women in Homeland Security: 20th Anniversary of 9/11







Women in Homeland Security partnered with Homeland Security Today to feature numerous leading women who were at the front lines responding the the events of September 11th.  HSToday asked contributors to provide a “State of the Union” for their area of expertise.

Patricia Cogswell, Former Deputy Administrator of TSA and leader of numerous national security organizations at the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Council, and Department of Justice, in transportation, intelligence, policy, border security, screening, information sharing initiatives, and counterterrorism Chaired the effort for Homeland Security Today.

Read on for more on the commemoration and see all the contributions here.

Never Forget…For every generation of American, Never Forget is…
A promise to those who lost their lives on that tragic, historic day
A battle cry for those who continue to work to protect our nation’s citizens, assets, and way of life
A pledge and a thank you to the families who lost loved ones, to those suffering from the health effects of responding to 9/11, and to all of our citizens to work tirelessly to assure no one suffers such loss again

On the morning of 9/11, as I watched the smoke rise from the Pentagon from the windows of my DC-based office at the Department of Justice, I knew our world had been irrevocably changed. In the months and years after, the trajectory of my career changed as well, serving in multiple DHS and National Security Council leadership roles, in transportation, border security, screening, intelligence, and law enforcement. Over the 20 years since that fateful day, I’ve seen first-hand how dedicated professionals come together to develop, implement, and evolve programs that protect our country, and have enabled it to prosper.

When Homeland Security Today asked me to Chair Homeland Security Today’s 9/11 commemoration, I was honored. Every year since 9/11, those of us in the community have used the opportunity remember those we lost, and renew our commitment to this mission. This year, we have the opportunity to also reflect on how far we’ve come, how the nature of the threats we face have changed, and how we can best position for the next 20 years.

How can we encourage the post-9/11 generation to pursue a career in national security, and invigorate within them that sense of service to our country, that desire to give back, that motivates so many of us? How do we make our organizations and processes more agile, so we can better counter the array of threats we face – from increasingly clever and complex cyber attacks, to the changes in methods used by nation states and criminal actors to reach their aims, and counter the mis/dis/mal-information intended to divide us? How do we ensure we continue to evolve our approach over time?

Through the HSToday 9/11 Commemoration series, you will hear from a range of professionals and experts, government, not for profit, private sector, and academic, as they provide a holistic look at the threats and opportunities we face in both the physical and cyber arenas. In these articles, they will talk about how the threat has changed, taking stock of the progress we’ve made to date, and describing policy options to consider for how we can best be positioned for the next 20 years.

We invite you to join with us this week, to engage in conversation on our social media, and share articles with your colleagues. To take the opportunity to reflect on our journey, and recommit to the mission over the years ahead.

Patricia Cogswell
Chair, 9/11 Commemoration


As we considered our tribute to the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, we thought, what better than to ask our Editorial Board members, esteemed colleagues, and the leaders of our nation’s homeland security enterprise to provide us with a “State of our Union” – a look at where we are on critical areas of homeland: counterterrorism, physical and cyber security in infrastructure, information sharing and misinformation, border security and much more. And with it, a non-partisan, honest look at the policy questions facing us.

To the call came some of the best minds in America.  People who have led the nation with the experience and knowledge to share their thoughts and observations around the policy questions and practical challenges that continue to face us 20 years after 9/11.

Starting September 13, Homeland Security Today will share with you the State of our Union – from the expert, practitioner point of view.  We will cover everything from what is happening in the terrorist world to how we as a nation have grown to address challenges to our cyber infrastructure, our transportation systems, our financial systems, our energy supplies – all of the pieces that together keep our citizens safe, our economy running, and our freedom intact.

On September 17, we will look at how we are harnessing new technologies and innovations to shape our future and how we are continuing to help future generations understand the impacts on 9/11 on our nation’s culture and fight complacency from setting in.

We have partnered with the 9/11 museum to encourage all of you to Never Forget by donating to support educating our next generations and supporting the first responders and families of those we lost on 9/11. To the right you will see links to the 9/11 museum and the Feal Good Foundation, a non-profit fighting for the first responders and families of those impacted directly by the attacks.  We have also developed a Facebook profile frame that we encourage you to use and share to help us commemorate our past and together build a more secure future.

All of our pieces are from experts – chronicled in their bios – with the experience, perspective, and passion for protecting America from the next attack.  We thank all of them for their incredible efforts and their valuable time.

Thank you for your support of Homeland Security Today and for your efforts to help us…Never Forget.

Kristina Tanasichuk
Executive Editor, Homeland Security Today

READ more on the State of Homeland Security here.

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