Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council

The NGA Center formed the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) to provide an organizational structure through which the homeland security advisors from each state, territory and the District of Columbia can discuss homeland security issues, share information and expertise and keep governors informed of the issues affecting homeland security policies in the states.



The mission of the council is to act as a forum that brings together the governors principal homeland security advisors from each state, commonwealth, and territory: 1) provide a unified voice for states to inform and shape national homeland security policy 2) keep governors abreast about the current threat environment and the impacts of Federal homeland security legislation, regulations, and policies on states; and 3) inform the work of the NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) by sharing ideas and best practices, identifying emerging issues, and reviewing and analyzing the impacts of Federal homeland security activities on the states.


The Council serves as a forum through which state homeland security advisors can share information and expertise, discuss priorities setting and collaborate on strategic planning to address all hazards and threats facing the states. Key GHSAC objectives include:

+ Improving interstate and regional communication;

+ Facilitating communication between state and federal agencies; and

+ Developing a unified state and territorial voice to inform governors and the National Governors Association of the impacts of federal homeland security legislation, regulations and policies on the states.

GHSAC Members

Each state or territory is represented on the GHSAC by the governor’s homeland security advisor. Governors have selected individuals with a variety of professional backgrounds as their homeland security advisors – from military officers to law enforcement professionals, emergency managers, criminal prosecutors and elected officials.

GHSAC Leadership

The Council is led by an eight-member executive committee – six elected by the general membership of the Council and two appointed by the executive leadership of the National Governors Association. Executive committee members serve one-year terms. Each year, the Council membership elects a vice chair to serve an additional one-year term. The vice chair then succeeds the Chair at the start of the next executive committee term.

Executive Committee

  • Chair: Kevin Klein, Colorado 
  • Vice-Chair: John “Doc” Holiday, Kentucky 
  • Gil Orrantia, Arizona 
  • Mark Ghilarducci, California 
  • Brad Richy, Idaho 
  • Pete Landon, Maryland 
  • Chris Kelenske, Michigan 
  • Brian Moran, Virginia 

2017 Homeland Security Advisors Survey

Overview of State Homeland Security Governance Structures