U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the appointment of President R. Bowen Loftin of Texas A&M University as the Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC). The HSAAC, comprised of prominent university presidents and academic leaders, is charged with advising the Secretary and senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security on several key issues.
“President Loftin’s extensive experience and expertise will make him a valuable asset to the Council,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I look forward to working with him on these critical issues.”
The Council underscores the Department’s commitment to working with the academic community. In this noteworthy role, President Loftin will provide advice and recommendations on issues related to student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research and faculty exchange; campus resilience; and homeland security academic programs.
Loftin, now in his second year of HSAAC service, was among the 20 university presidents and other academic leaders asked to serve on the advisory group when it was formed by Secretary Napolitano last year.
The Secretary said the council provides valuable assistance to the Department of Homeland Security on matters relating to student and recent graduate recruitment, international students, academic research, campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness, faculty exchanges and cybersecurity.
“I appreciate your willingness to serve on the HSAAC,” Secretary Napolitano said in her letter appointing Loftin as vice chairman. “I know the department will benefit from your ideas and experience.”
Loftin said he considers it “both an honor and duty to serve on the council and now help lead it,” adding that all citizens have a “responsibility to do everything possible to protect America from terrorists and others whose action could do it harm.”
Loftin pointed out Texas A&M’s long legacy of serving the United States, ranging from military service to various academic and research programs at the university and its related research and extension agencies.
On the academic side of the university, Loftin cited Texas A&M’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service, which has programs focused on border security, national security policy and management, emergency and crisis management, and critical infrastructure protection. In the area of research and service, he noted as a prime example the work conducted at the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD Center), which is based on campus and staffed by Texas A&M personnel.