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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the Office of Homeland Security?
The tragic events of September 11 show just how critical it is that America have a coordinated and comprehensive national strategy to help protect the United States against terrorist threats or attacks.

The President's Executive Order establishes the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council to develop and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen protections against terrorist threats or attacks in the United States. The new team will coordinate federal, state, and local counter-terrorism efforts.

Who is leading the Office of Homeland Security?
The President appointed Tom Ridge, former Governor of Pennsylvania, to head The Office of Homeland Security.

Governor Ridge is a decorated combat veteran and national leader who has the strength, experience, personal commitment and authority to tackle this challenging mission. Governor Ridge has answered the call to develop a new strategy to help our nation move forward after the tragedies of September 11.

Governor Ridge will report directly to President Bush. Gov. Ridge has been given the authority he needs to effectively coordinate counter-terrorism activities throughout all levels of government.

What is the focus of the Office of Homeland Security?
Governor Ridge will coordinate all federal government terrorist prevention and protection activities within the U.S., and will work with state and local governments on, among other things:

  • Detection
  • Preparedness
  • Prevention
  • Protection
  • Response and recovery
  • Incident management

What is the Homeland Security Council?
The President's Executive Order establishes a Homeland Security Council that will be responsible for advising and assisting the President with respect to all aspects of homeland security. The Council will include:

  • The President and the Vice President
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Director of Central Intelligence
  • Assistant to the President for Homeland Security
  • Other Cabinet members and federal officials the President may designate to attend.