The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Friday the appointment of 28 new members to the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC).

HSSTAC provides independent scientific and technical advice on expansion of technological capabilities to Secretary Jeh Johnson and the senior department leadership, particularly the Under Secretary for Science and Technology and head of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Members are selected from disciplines in the fields of organizational strategy and management, first responders, cybersecurity/risk, cross-cutting technical expertise, and chemical and biological defense.


“Its activities focus on the S&T mission to strengthen America’s security and resiliency by providing knowledge products and innovative technology solutions for the Homeland Security Enterprise,” the HSSTAC official charter says. The charter is effective June 15 2015 – June 14, 2017.

The new 28 committee members join six current members. All members serve two-year terms on the committee. The committee is able to have up to 40 members according to its charter.

The new members, organized by disciplines are:


  • Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google [GOOG].
  • Vincent Chan, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.
  • James Hendler, director of the institute for data exploration and applications, and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Organization Strategy and Management

  • James Brigham, corporate director of simMachines, Inc., a technology company developing and providing an advanced data analytics engine for cybersecurity and corporate intelligence.
  • Herbert Lee Buchanan, president/CEO of Arete Associates, a technology company developing and providing remote sensing solutions for national security customers.
  • James Decker, principal and co-founder of Decker, Garman, Sullivan and Associates, LLC., a federal relations and management consulting firm focusing on research and development management and business development in the federal sector.
  • Michael Goldblatt, CEO of Aixxia, LLC, a research firm that focuses on technology startups. He is a former Director of Defense Sciences at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
  • Annie McKee, who founded Teleos Leadership Institute, a consulting firm focused on developing values-based leadership and resonant organizations. 
  • Brock Reeve, executive director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, a world-leading network of scientists and clinical experts dedicated to understanding and treating the root causes of degenerative diseases.
  • John Sims, executive director of external relations for academic affairs at Bentley University.
  • David Whelan, vice president of engineering for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, and is a former director of the tactical technology office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
  • Roy Wiggins, dean of business, professor of finance, and director of the Bentley Microfinance Initiative at Bentley University.
  • Christina Williams, associate provost for administration and finance at Brandeis University.

First Responder

  • G. Keith Bryant, an emergency medical technician and member of the Oklahoma City fire department. He is the current president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
  • Murray “Jay” Farr, deputy chief of police in the Arlington County, Va., police department.
  • Gary W. Schenkel, executive director of the Chicago office of emergency management and communications, who oversees the Public Safety Consortium, which brings together local, state, and federal partners to plan and coordinate emergency response.
  • James Schwartz, chief of the Arlington County, Va., fire department.

Cross Cutting Technical Expertise

  • Philip Coyle, Senior Science Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
  • William Crowell, partner with Alsop Louie Partners, a consulting firm focused on information technology, security and intelligence systems, and a former deputy director of the National Security Agency.
  • Daniel Dubno, who developed Keyhole, a software imagery program later acquired by Google.
  • Yacov Haimes, the Lawrence R. Quarles professor of systems and information engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and founding director of the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems at the University of Virginia.
  • Eric Haseltine, President of Haseltine Partners LLC. He previously served associate director of National Intelligence.
  • Karim Lakhani, associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School and principal investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
  • Mark Maybury, chief technology officer of the MITRE Corp. He is a member of the Defense Science Board, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Brian C. Toohey, executive vice president of DEKA Research and Development Corp and the former President and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association.
  • Theodore Lawrence Willke II, senior principal engineer for Intel Labs.

Chemical and Biological Defense

  • Kathie Olsen, founder and managing director of ScienceWorks, a consulting firm that focuses on science and engineering research pursuits.
  • Gerald Parker, vice president for public health preparedness and response, and principal investigator for the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.  He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for chemical and biological defense at the Department of Defense.