Homeland Security

Governors play a critical role in homeland security and are responsible for protecting people, property, and businesses within their respective states and territories. Governors are confronted with a range of events—from natural and man-made disasters, disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, and other major emergencies— such as catastrophes on the scale of COVID-19, Hurricane Maria, or the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Homeland Security Program provides technical assistance to Governors and their staffs on a range of national security policy issues, including violence prevention, energy assurance, public health emergency preparedness, and emergency management, including disaster response, recovery and resilience.


The Governor’s Guide To Public Health Preparedness

This guide serves as a primer on public health preparedness, detailing current strategies, available resources and existing partnerships that may help policymakers bridge the gap between the disciplines of public safety and public health. By doing so, governors can develop a stronger cooperative network for emergency response and provide their states with a safe and healthy future.

Governor’s Roadmap to Preventing Targeted Violence

This roadmap distills the latest research and draws from elements of public-health interventions to provide guidance to governors, state and local leaders, and other stakeholders on how to prevent ideologically inspired violence—whether political, gender-based, or religious. By taking a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to preventing such violence, states can build safer and more resilient communities.

Governor’s Guide To Homeland Security

This guide covers fundamentals in homeland security best practices ranging from emergency management, fusion centers, grant management, the national guard, emergency declarations, critical infrastructure and other areas of homeland security that a governor and their policy staff would need awareness on.

Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council

The Homeland Security Program manages the independently charted Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council, a forum that brings together governors’ principal homeland security advisors from each state, commonwealth, territory, and the District of Columbia to share best practices and establish policy priorities. The Council is compromised of individuals with a variety of professional backgrounds as their homeland security advisors – from military officers to law enforcement professionals, and emergency manager.

Virtual Resource Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This virtual resource center is a repository for state-focused resources pertaining to public health emergency preparedness policy. The resources are targeted at state leaders in the fields of public health, emergency management, and administration, although due to the cross-disciplinary nature of public health emergency preparedness, a broader audience may find these tools useful.

Meet the Team

  • Jessica Davenport, Program Director
  • Phil Nichols, Senior Policy Analyst
  • Michelle Blakeslee, Policy Analyst
  • Camille Lodugnon, Policy Coordinator
  • Public Safety & Legal Counsels Program

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  • Cybersecurity Program

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  • Technical Assistance

    We provide complimentary consultation to states as they design and implement new programs and policies.

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  • Equity And Policy Preparedness During Public Health Emergencies

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  • Defense/National Guard Resources

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  • Resilience Resources

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Homeland Security Resources

NGA Works to Prevent Violent Extremism in States

WASHINGTON—As recent incidents have shown, violent extremism remains a multifaceted and complex threat at the state, local and federal levels. The National Governors Association (NGA), through a two-year grant provided ...

Council of Governors Letter to Secretary Mattis

The Honorable James Mattis Secretary U.S. Department of Defense The Pentagon Washington, D.C. Dear Secretary Mattis, As co-chairs of the Council of Governors, we look forward to working with you ...

FEMA Administrator Nomination

The Honorable Ron Johnson Chairman Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Room 340, Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Claire McCaskill Ranking Member Senate Committee ...

NGA Welcomes Council of Governors Appointments

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) welcomes the appointment and reappointment of governors to the critically important Council of Governors (Council) focused on national security issues. Newly appointed governors are Alaska Gov ...

Homeland Security, Emergency Management and Public Safety

1.1 Preamble Assuring the safety and security of citizens is one of the paramount duties of governors. With the constantly evolving threat of terrorism and increased occurrences of natural disasters, ...


5.1 Preamble The nation's governors urge Congress and the Administration to enact immigration reform that strengthens the economy and our communities and secures our borders and ports. Governors acknowledge the ...

Testimony – FEMA Recommendations

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD Captain Chris A. Kelenske Deputy State Director/Commander Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division Michigan State Police On behalf of The National Governors Association and the Governors ...

FirstNet Recommendations

To: FirstNet From: National Governors Association Date: November 2016 Re:  Recommendations for Engaging States as Full Partners In June 2016, NGA testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and ...

Tune In Now: NGA Center Expert Featured in Homeland Security Podcast

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ (NGA Center) Homeland Security and Public Safety Program Director Alisha Powell recently recorded an episode for the Homeland Security Advisors Series, a podcast ...