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.