Partnerships for Homeland Security

In response to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal, state, and local governments immediately started to work with outside partners to provide relief, support, and reconstruction. In New Jersey and New York, government, civil society, and the private sector have partnered to restore power, provide fuel, and temporarily shelter the displaced. These partnerships are excellent examples of different sectors coming together to make a difference in people’s lives and illustrate the importance of cross-sector collaboration for homeland security. 

Executive Order 13629 directs the establishment of a new White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to provide advice on how the Federal Government can more effectively work with partners to address disasters and other homeland security priorities. A Steering Committee is being selected for the Council and in the next few weeks will meet to discuss the nomination and selection process for Council members. 

The Council will be comprised of current Federal Government employees, outside of Washington, D.C., who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in building partnerships. Its role will be to promote the use of partnerships to achieve homeland security priorities and to advise the White House and other Federal officials on building partnerships (more information in Fact Sheet). Some of the best partnerships and expertise reside at the local level, and the Council will enable the Federal Government to more effectively tap into this experience and best practices to secure the homeland.

A White House-led Community Partnerships Interagency Policy Committee – comprised of partnership specialists from more the 20 Federal agencies – will support the Council and the Steering Committee, providing a connection between local and national partnership efforts. This connection will help the Federal Government share information about partnership development, build partnership networks, and implement the Executive Order. 

The country faces many more homeland security challenges, and the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council will provide the Federal Government with an additional resource to make sure that we maximize its ability to collaborate and make a difference.

Learn more about the Federal response to Hurricane Sandy:

President Obama tours storm damage in Staten Island
President Obama visits the New Jersey shore
Vice President Biden tours storm damage in Hoboken
How you can help survivors

Quintan Wiktorowicz is the White House Senior Director for Community Partnerships, on the National Security Staff