Wednesday September 30, 2009

Homeland Security and Local Governments

A former senior Department of Homeland Security official and policy analyst will speak at the University of Dayton in October about empowering local governments in the effort to keep America safe.

University of Dayton 1993 graduate Matt A. Mayer writes in his new book, Homeland Security and Federalism: Protecting America from Outside the Beltway, that the best way to protect America from terrorists is "to get the power out of Washington, D.C., and into the hands of governors, mayors and the men and women on the front lines in our communities."

He will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the Science Center Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"Identifying and then orchestrating the right mix of federal, state and local involvement in national security measures is complicated, controversial and critical," said Jason Pierce, chair of the political science department. "Matt Mayer's book offers some compelling answers to how our national security system should be structured, reminding us of the important roles that state and local governments play."

In his book, Mayer develops a model to guide how limited resources should be allocated so they will lead to less waste and more protection. He builds the case that states and local communities are best suited to lead efforts on terrorism preparedness, disaster management, illegal immigration, counterterrorism and community resiliency.

Mayer was recently elected president of the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a nonpartisan research institute devoted to free markets and limited government. He is also a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he leads the Homeland Security and the States Project.

As a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security from 2004-06, he held key roles under secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff. In addition to serving as Counselor to the Deputy Secretary, Mayer helped policy programs including re-tooling efforts at FEMA, immigration and border programs, maritime and port security programs and transportation security programs.

Mayer also oversaw and managed the development of the National Preparedness Goal and Target Capabilities List and spearheaded the movement to allocate grant funds through a risk and need model.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or