DHS Counter Terrorism Exec Takes Office

Caryn A. Wagner, now at the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for using IT to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts.

The Department of Homeland Security has a new leader for its efforts to use IT and other means to share intelligence information with state and local law enforcement officials to counter terrorist threats.

The U.S. Senate has approved the appointment of Caryn A. Wagner, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) for the DHS.

President Obama nominated Wagner for the I&A Under Secretary position in late October; the nomination was confirmed by the Senate Thursday and Wagner assumed her post on Friday.

In her new role, Wagner will be responsible for managing information relating to terrorist threats from both law-enforcement officials and federal agencies. She will also run the Joint Fusion Center Program Management Office established within the DHS last September by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The office manages various fusion centers that coordinate counter-terrorist information and data collected by both government agencies and private companies. Aligning IT systems to more efficiently share data among the government and private-sector partners is one of the missions of the office.

According to the DHS, it has invested more than $327 million to fund fusion centers between fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2008. The centers -- of which there are more than 70 around the country -- were first set up in 2003 as a joint program between the DHS and the Department of Justice.

Prior to her new role, Wagner had been a faculty member at The Intelligence and Security Academy, an organization that offers education, consulting, and training in national security issues to clients that include government agencies like the DHS as well as private corporations.

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About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributing Writer

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer, journalist, and therapeutic writing mentor with more than 25 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise include technology, business, and culture. Elizabeth previously lived and worked as a full-time journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco, and New York City; she currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal. In her free time, she enjoys surfing, hiking with her dogs, traveling, playing music, yoga, and cooking.

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