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Secretary Napolitano Names Juliette Kayyem to Serve as Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental Programs

posted on: Mar 5, 2009

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today her appointment of Juliette Kayyem to serve as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Programs.

“One of my top priorities is to ensure there is strong communication and consultation with state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Juliette brings a tremendous amount of expertise to the table, having coordinated efforts amongst varying entities during her tenure in state government. Juliette will play a critical role in helping to improve and strengthen communications between all levels of government and in helping in the mission to create one Department of Homeland Security,” said Secretary Napolitano.

Juliette N. Kayyem was appointed as Massachusetts’ first Undersecretary for Homeland Security by Gov. Deval L. Patrick in January 2007. When appointed by Governor Patrick, she became the first Arab-American to serve as a homeland security advisor at the state level. As undersecretary, she has been responsible for developing statewide policy on homeland security and specifically focused on preventing, protecting, responding to, and recovering from any and all critical incidents. Undersecretary Kayyem focused much of her time on coordinating efforts across local, state and federal entities.

Secretary Napolitano is focused on one unified DHS and ensuring all entities are communicating with each other efficiently and effectively. Earlier this year, Secretary Napolitano issued a an Action Directive that tasked the Office of Intergovernmental Programs (IGP) with developing a process to revitalize the department’s working relationship with state, local, tribal and territorial governments. IGP’s mission is to promote an integrated national approach to homeland security by ensuring, coordinating and advancing federal interaction with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. IGP will lead coordination efforts across the department’s array of components and programs to help reduce duplicative activities and contradictory approaches and will also help ensure that stakeholders are aware of DHS activities and programs that are of interest or concern to them.