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Protecting the Homeland

As Secretary of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. He has served in Congress, as Pennsylvania's governor and as a staff sergeant in Vietnam, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor. President George W. Bush and Governor Ridge meet alone in the Oval Office Oct. 23, 2001. Governor Ridge meets with members of Congress, Vice President Cheney (pictured to Governor Ridge's left) and President Bush (not pictured) in the Cabinet Room Oct. 24, 2001. Tucked away in a small West Wing office, Governor Ridge holds an interview with reporters in his office Jan 9, 2003.
Governor Ridge talks with Attorney General John Ashcroft outside the Oval Office Nov. 28, 2001. Coordinating intelligence efforts with the FBI, CIA and Justice Department, Secretary Ridge meets routinely with his colleagues. Governor Tom Ridge announces the Homeland Security Advisory System designed to measure and evaluate terrorist threats in Washington, D.C., March 12, 2002. It is based on threat conditions of five different alerts: low (green), guarded (blue), elevated (yellow), high (orange) and severe (red). Traveling with President Bush, Governor Ridge tours a water treatment plant in Kansas City, Mo., with EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman, center left, and Education Secretary Rod Paige, center right, June 11, 2002. President Bush and Governor Ridge walk together on the South Lawn of the White House Sept. 19, 2002.
Marking the anniversary of those who fought against terrorists on Flight 93 during the Sept. 11 attacks, Governor Ridge travels to his home state for memorial services in Shanksville, Pa., Sept. 11, 2002. Accompanied by Governor Ridge and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, President Bush visits the Homeland Security Complex in Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002. President Bush addresses the media during the signing of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 in the East Room Nov. 2, 2002. The largest reorganization of the federal government since World War II, the plan brings together 22 agencies, more than 170,000 federal employees, under one department. After being nominated to be the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Governor Ridge appears before a Senate confirmation hearing at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 17, 2003.

Protecting the Homeland: Follow Secretary Tom Ridge as he enacts President Bush's historic directive to create the Department of Homeland Security, bringing about the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in more than a half-century.