Cambridge, MA – Juliette Kayyem, who has spent more than 15 years developing homeland security policy and response efforts for both the state and federal governments, has been named the Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), it was announced today by Dean Douglas Elmendorf.

Kayyem first joined the Kennedy School faculty in 2004 as Adjunct Lecturer. Since 2011, she has served as Lecturer in Public Policy. In 2009 Kayyem took a leave from her teaching duties when she was named homeland security advisor to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, where she helped guide regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, a unified approach for enhancing emergency communications.  She was later named President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

During her distinguished career in public service, Kayyem has also served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, as a legal advisor to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and as a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Justice Department.

The founder and President of Kayyem Solutions, a strategic security advising firm, Kayyem also serves as a national security commentator for CNN and is author of Security Mom (Simon & Schuster, 2016).  In 2013, she was a Pulitzer finalist for her columns in the Boston Globe.

“Juliette Kayyem is an experienced leader in the fields of emergency management and operations, homeland security, immigration reform, and community resiliency. She is a model public servant, public intellectual, and teacher, bringing a unique set of experiences and wisdom into the classroom,” said Elmendorf. 

Kayyem is affiliated with the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where she will be working on a new project on homeland security, which will examine questions relating to immigration and border security, post-event resiliency, and the future of DHS.

“The security challenges that we face as a country and as a global community are immense and intense, and will require thoughtful, calculated and coordinated planning and execution in order to overcome,” said Kayyem. “It is my intention to work closely with other faculty, scholars and Kennedy School students to expand our understanding of these challenges and to develop policy solutions to meet them.” 

Graham Allison, the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and director of the Belfer Center, said, “Juliette’s many years working at the intersection of homeland security and operational management is just the right combination for the Belfer Center as we are expanding our efforts in this arena. We are grateful for the ongoing and very generous support provided by Bob and Renée Belfer, who understand and value the critical nature of the work being done here.”

Robert and Renée Belfer are longtime supporters of the Kennedy School and the Belfer Center.


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