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Homeland Security Commission

The District of Columbia Homeland Security Commission (HSC) was established by the Homeland Security, Risk Reduction and Preparedness Amendment Act of 2006. The HSC makes recommendations for improvements in security and preparedness in the District. Specifically, the Commission gathers and evaluates information on the status of homeland security in the District, measuring progress and gaps in homeland security preparedness, recommending security improvement priorities in consultation with major public and private entities and advising the District government on the homeland security program. Each year, the HSC provides an annual report to the Mayor and District of Columbia Council. 

Homeland Security Commission Members

Commission members are experts in the areas of security, transportation, communication, risk assessment, public health, and terrorism. Each member’s background and expertise is listed below

David Heyman (Chair): Mr. David Heyman is a nationally recognized thought leader, national security expert, and former systems software engineer with over two decades of experience working globally on innovation and risk management, serving at the highest levels of government and the private sector. He has served in senior positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy, and most recently as Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  He was the Founder and Director of the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  Mr. Heyman also co-founded and currently leads Smart City Works, a new class of business accelerator established to build and launch next generation infrastructure companies that improve the security, resilience, and livability of cities.  He is also a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Strategy Group and the CEO of Tektonics Global, a management consultancy firm supporting businesses and government in building smarter, safer, and more resilient cities.

Brian Baker: Brian Baker is an expert in preparedness, response, disaster recovery, and homeland security. With close to two decades of public service and public safety leadership, he has served in a variety of senior level management positions for public, private, and non-governmental organizations. Brian currently serves as the Vice President of Hagerty Consulting, where he acts as one of Hagerty's public facing leaders and plays a leading role in Hagerty's business development and growth efforts. Prior to joining Hagerty, Brian served as the Interim Director of the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DC HSEMA). In this role, he led a team of over 100 full time employees, managed over $500 million in local and federal grant funds, served on prominent policy groups, oversaw the DC fusion center, and served as the Consequence Management Chair for more than 25 National Special Security Events (NSSEs), including four presidential inaugurations and two papal visits. Before becoming Interim Director, Brian served as the Deputy Director, Homeland Security Advisor, Chief of Staff, State Coordinating Officer (SCO) over saw the State Administrative Office for grants and federal funding. Overall, he was responsible for emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery for the City, including operations for a 24-hour emergency operations center and the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center. A Ward 6 resident, Mr. Baker received his undergraduate degree at Johnson and Wales University and his graduate education at the George Washington University School of Public Health. He is also a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security's Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program. 

Dr. Meloyde R. Batten-Mickens: Dr. Meloyde R. Batten-Mickens currently serves as the Director of Facilities Operations at Prince George's Community College, where she has the opportunity to align operation response planning, facility infrastructure support, team professional development, and organizational development to promote student and community success. She has more than twenty years of progressive experience in planning emergency management programs including public safety, people management, communication strategies, and organizational leadership. She currently is a credentialed Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers and serves on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council (FEMA-NAC) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Sub-Committee and previously served on the FEMA-NAC Preparedness and Protection Sub-Committee. Dr. Mickens was also the lead program director for public safety and emergency management at Gallaudet University and Simmons College; during her service, she executed Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) standards and principles to develop and strengthen the institutions' emergency management councils, crisis leadership teams, public safety operations, and facility infrastructure. As a member of the Emergency Management Institute's Executive Academy, her cohort co-authored the article, Development of Metrics for Personal Preparedness to highlight the criticality of creating a metric mechanism to demonstrate if emergency preparedness initiatives are actually creating a prepared nation. Dr. Mickens' provides trailblazing contributions to community emergency preparedness initiatives. She volunteers regularly with the local community and faith-based organizations, coordinating and providing disaster preparedness briefings. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated's National Emergency Response Task Force, she is an active participant on the White House-sponsored National Youth Preparedness and FEMA's America's Prepare-A-Thon national initiatives. 

Brad Belzak: Mr. Brad Belzak is a national security expert with 15-years of US Federal, state and local government and international business experience in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Currently, Mr. Belzak works for a global consulting firm focusing on strategy & operations support to Fortune 30 executives. Previously, he served as a Political appointee at the US Department of Homeland Security and a Senior Advisor, within the Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant supplying Fortune 100 companies and allied governments in the Middle East and Asia with homeland security and emergency management capacity building. While at Deloitte, he advised senior leaders in the Middle East on homeland security best practices. Prior to his time in the private sector, Mr. Belzak spent eight years working for the US Government in both the Executive and Legislative branches. He was then at DHS as a Senior Policy Adviser to leadership, Deputy Chief of Staff and First Responder during Hurricane Katrina recovery operations and an Intelligence Analyst on detail to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Belzak has a Masters of Science in Security and Resiliency from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Elon University. 

Philip McNamara: Mr. McNamara is an accomplished Government Affairs, Advocacy and Political Executive. He has over eight years of experience with the Department of Homeland Security as a part of the senior leadership team. He served a major leadership role during the incident responses from the H1N1 pandemic, to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to Hurricanes Irene, Sandy and Matthew, to the Boston Marathon Bombing, and many others. As a team oriented manager Mr. McNamara coordinates with senior level officials to make timely decisions on complex issues. He specializes in relationship building and working with individuals of diverse perspectives to reach common ground.  Phil is currently the director of government relations at The Pew Charitable Trusts. In this role, he oversees the work of government relations to assist in designing and executing strategies to fulfill the policy goals of many of Pew's projects. Phil and the staff he manages work closely with program and operations units to build and sustain effective relationships with elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government that advance Pew's advocacy goals. 

Edward Pearson: Edward Pearson retired from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department in December 2017 after thirty years of dedicated service to the citizens and visitors of our nation's capital. His career began in 1987 as a firefighter and he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1995. Edward held the rank of Lieutenant and Captain before his promotion to Battalion Fire Chief in November of 2005. He was then promoted to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief on January 3, 2011. He is the only Deputy Fire Chief in the Department's history to serve as Firefighting/Operations Deputy on Platoon #1, #2, #3, and #4. Edward is certified as a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1021- Fire Officer IV. He also served as an adjunct professor for the University of the District of Columbia from 2003 -2011 teaching the core courses of the fire science degree curriculum and is certified as an instructor for the Department of Homeland Security's National Incident Management System (NIMS) curriculum with expertise in instructing Incident Command System (ICS). A native Washingtonian and Ward 7 resident, Mr. Pearson received his Master of Arts in Security Studies from Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, a Master of Public Administration in Public Management and a Bachelor of Science (BS) from the University of the District of Columbia. 

Joanna Turner: Joanna Turner currently serves as Director of Government Relations at The Hershey Company, where she advises the business on federal, state and local policy and legislative matters. Prior to her position at The Hershey Company, Joanna was the Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the US Department of Transportation, a position she held from 2009 to 2014. Before her federal service, Joanna was the lead advocate and negotiator on federal transportation policies on behalf of the National Governors Association and the nation's 55 state and territorial governors. She also spent eight years at the National League of Cities, where she developed and advanced an advocacy platform to support the national transportation, environmental, and energy-related goals of the nation's 18,000 municipal governments. A Ward 6 Resident, Joanna received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Geography from George Washington University. 

Are you interested in serving on the Homeland Security Commission? Application information is available through the Mayor's Office of Talent and Appointments.

HSC Quarterly Meetings

The most recent quarterly meeting of the HSC took place on April 12, 2019.

Additional Fact Finding Meetings 

Meeting Minutes

Please see the draft meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission May 20, 2019 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission April 12, 2019 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission March 1, 2019 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission January 17, 2019 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission November 16, 2018 Quarterly Meeting 

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission November 5, 2018 Quarterly Meeting (Cancelled)

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission August 20, 2018 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission July 27, 2018 Open Fact Finding Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission July 12, 2018 Open Fact Finding Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission June 21, 2018 Quarterly Meeting 

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission June 13, 2018 Open Fact Finding Meeting 

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission June 8, 2018 Quarterly Meeting (Cancelled)

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission April 23, 2018 Open Fact Finding Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission April 20, 2018 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission April 6, 2018 Open Fact Finding Meeting (Cancelled)

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission December 8, 2017 Quarterly Meeting

Please see the meeting minutes from the Homeland Security Commission September 15, 2017 Quarterly Meeting