First responders are among those invited to submit ideas.

First responders are among those invited to submit ideas. TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

Homeland Security Science Chief Wants to Know What You Think His Goals Should Be

Undersecretary Brothers launches collaborative online channel for feedback on long-term strategies.

Four months into his tenure as the Homeland Security Department’s science and technology chief, Reginald Brothers on Monday opened an online outreach tool to gather input from stakeholders to create a “north star” set of visionary goals to guide DHS’ future.

In what is called a Collaboration Community, ideas for the department’s future investments are being solicited from federal, state, local and tribal agencies, as well as emergency responders, owners and operators of critical infrastructure, laboratories, universities, and key private sector industries, according to the department.

“The presumption is that the goals could take 20-30 years to achieve, but they would set us on a series of vectors that should last some time,” Brothers told Government Executive. “It should influence our investments and increase efficiencies for operational stakeholders.”

Proposed strategic goals are being refined based on policies and priorities from the White House, the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, and the DHS secretary, the department said. “Crowdsourcing is not unusual, but this may be first time this particular agency has done it,” said Science and Technology Undersecretary Brothers, an electrical engineer who spent three years running technology research programs at the Defense Department. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has used Web-based platforms to similarly promote transparency, DHS noted.

The Science and Technology Directorate is DHS’ primary research and development arm and “technical core,” the department said. Broad themes for its coming strategic goals include new techniques to speed up noninvasive screening of travelers, nonintrusive online security protection against cyber threats, real-time actionable data on situations that can be used by decision makers to head off threats, and well-protected first-responders.

Respondents to the invitation need not be experts, Brothers stressed. “We want feedback from anyone who’s creative and concerned about DHS’ mission space and innovation,” he said.  “You can talk to experts with lots of education, but a lot of my experience is that people outside your field can also provide useful input, and research shows that.”

The Collaboration Community “is not just a public relations effort, but, I would hope, a real attempt to reach out to all our stakeholders to get the best ideas to make a difference,” he said. “We have to communicate. In this time of limited resources, it’s important that we look toward cross-government collaboration at all levels, which is necessary to get a good return on investment. We have to work with all interested parties.”

Asked whether some of the feedback may be negative—from privacy advocates, for example, who argue that Homeland Security’s domestic intelligence-gathering at local fusion centers can threaten civil liberties—Brothers said, “We expect a wide span of responses, some critical and some complimentary.”

Messages on the website for the online Collaboration Community may be anonymous, though a return email address is required. Officials warn that information discussed or posted must be “non-sensitive and appropriate for the aforementioned audience.” (Respondents with information that requires secrecy can submit to a separate address at STIdeaScale@hq.dhs.gov.)

Users are encouraged to vote on others’ ideas. The channel will be open from Aug. 25 through Sept. 7.

(Image via TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com)

NEXT STORY: Monkeys Can't Get a Copyright

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.