School of Management Pilots New Homeland Security Program

Posted: March 3, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Students in the MS in Technology Management Program in the School of Management recently helped launch a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program designed to prepare current and future executives for major security and emergency preparedness challenges faced by U.S. businesses and government.

This new program, developed by DHS, incorporates business continuity planning and security topics into graduate business school programs. By establishing partnerships with universities, DHS hopes to improve awareness, understanding and investment in protective security strategies to better prepare the nation’s future business leaders to plan, implement and manage protective measures and business continuity planning for private sector critical infrastructure.

DHS chose Mason as the pilot program for this venture. It will be expanded to include Mason Executive MBA students later in 2006.

“In light of events such as Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, we have all become intensely aware that information systems and networks are of ever-increasing importance to business and government success and indeed enable business and government to operate,” says Richard Klimoski, dean of the School of Management. “The nation’s current and future technology leadership must be prepared to act and be equipped to lead in an era of major security and business continuity challenges.”

For the next 18 months, the Homeland Security initiative will involve Mason technology management graduate students in simulations, lectures and discussions of major business continuity issues. The program will address critical issues such as cyber-security, physical infrastructure security, emergency preparedness and the role of the private sector in developing related procedures, products and services. Students will also receive reference materials to supplement their class work and assist them on the job.

“We are all facing choices in our professional lives regarding risk assessment, security investment and emergency preparedness,” says technology management student Cameron Jordan, a senior systems engineer at Raytheon. “The opportunity to hear leading experts and policy makers and gain hands-on experience through real-world simulations better prepares us to make these choices in a wise and informed manner. Not only will we be helping our organizations, but our country as well.”

Speakers for the first session, held at Mason in January, featured Wade Townsend, chief, Program Support Branch, Risk Management Division of DHS; Jim McDonnell, president of McDonnell Consulting Group; and David Howe, managing director and COO of Civitas and previously special assistant to the president and senior director for emergency preparedness and response at the Homeland Security Council at the White House.

Future guest speakers will include leading government officials and private sector executives as well as experts on homeland and national security policies, technical and physical infrastructure security and overall emergency preparedness.

Write to at