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Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528


Deputy Secretary(vacancy)

Chief of StaffJohn Gountanis, Acting
Executive SecretaryClark Barrow
Military AdvisorRear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson

Office of the Secretary

Office of the Secretary
Strategy, Policy, and PlansChad F. Wolf

Legislative AffairsBeth Spivey
Partnership and EngagementJohn H. Hill
Public AffairsAlexei Woltornist, Acting

Chief Privacy OfficerDena Kozanas
Citizenship and Immigration Services OmbudsmanMichael T. Dougherty
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties OfficerPatricia Nation
General Counsel(vacancy)

Operational and Support Components

Operational and Support Components
Intelligence and Analysis(vacancy)
Science and Technology(vacancy)

Federal Emergency Management AgencyPete T. Gaynor
Transportation Security AdministrationDavid P. Pekoske

Countering Weapons of Mass DestructionDavid Richardson

Chief Financial OfficerTroy D. Edgar
Chief Information OfficerKaren S. Evans

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security AgencyChristopher C. Krebs
Federal Law Enforcement Training CentersThomas J. Walters
Operations CoordinationChristopher J. Tomney
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(vacancy)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(vacancy)
U.S. Secret ServiceJames M. Murray

U.S. Coast Guard CommandantAdm. Karl L. Schultz
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner(vacancy)

Office of Inspector General

Office of Inspector General
Inspector GeneralJoseph V. Cuffari

The Department of Homeland Security prevents terrorism and enhances security, manages the Nation’s borders, administers immigration laws, safeguards cyberspace, and ensures resilience in the wake of disaster.


On November 25, 2002, President George W. Bush approved Public Law 107–296, which is also cited as the "Homeland Security Act of 2002" to establish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Sixty days after its enactment, on January 24, 2003, the law became effective (116 STAT. 2142).

By the advice and with the consent of the Senate, the President appoints the Secretary of Homeland Security, who heads the Department and has direction, authority, and control over it (116 STAT. 2142). The Secretary develops and coordinates a comprehensive strategy to protect the Nation from terrorist attacks. These efforts are undertaken in coordination with Federal, State, local, international, and private sector partners. The Secretary also advises the President on border management and protection, cyberspace security, administration and enforcement of immigration laws, intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, science and technology for countering weapons of mass destruction, and resilience after a disastrous event.

Title 6 of the U.S. Code contains codified subject matter that affects domestic security. Its six chapters are named: 1) "Homeland Security Organization"; 2) "National Emergency Management"; 3) "Security and Accountability for Every Port"; 4) "Transportation Security"; 5) "Border Infrastructure and Technology Modernization"; and 6) "Cybersecurity."

Rules and regulations that affect domestic security are codified in title 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Chapter I, parts 1–199, deals with the "Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Secretary."

Title 5, chapter XCVII, part 9701, of the CFR is dedicated to the "Department of Homeland Security Human Resources Management System."

The DHS posts an organizational chart on its "Organizational Chart" web page. A Portable Document Format (PDF) file of the chart is available for viewing and downloading.


Citizenship / Immigration

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman improves the quality of citizenship and immigration services that are delivered to the public by providing individual case assistance. The Offices also makes recommendations for improving the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' administration of immigration benefits. | Email:

Civil Rights / Liberties

The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties ensures that while the DHS secures the Nation, it also preserves individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law. The Office promotes respect for civil rights and civil liberties in policymaking and implementation; advises DHS leadership and personnel, and State and local partners; communicates with communities and individuals whose civil rights and civil liberties may be affected by DHS activities, informing them about policies and avenues of redress and bringing appropriate attention to their experiences and concerns within the Department; investigates civil rights and liberties complaints filed by the public regarding DHS policies or activities, or actions taken by DHS personnel; and leads DHS equal employment opportunity programs and promotes workforce diversity and merit system principles.

Department of Defense Coordination

The Military Advisor counsels and supports the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on matters relating to policy, procedures, preparedness activities, and operations involving the DHS and the Department of Defense.

Executive Support

The Office of the Executive Secretary directly supports the Secretary and Deputy Secretary and provides related support to leadership and management agencywide. The Office's activities are diverse, including accurate and timely dissemination of information and written communications to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary from throughout the DHS and its homeland security partners .

Internal Audits / Investigations

The Office of Inspector General conducts and supervises audits, investigations, and inspections relating to DHS programs and operations. The Office examines, evaluates, and, where necessary, critiques DHS operations and activities. It recommends ways for the agency to carry out its responsibilities in more economical, efficient, and effective ways. The Office also reviews recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations affecting DHS programs and operations.

Legal Compliance

The Office of General Counsel ensures that departmental activities comply with applicable legal requirements. The Office provides legal advice on matters affecting national security, immigration, litigation, international law, maritime safety and security, transportation security, border security law, cybersecurity, fiscal and appropriations law, environmental law, and on matters affecting many more subjects. It also ensures that DHS efforts to secure the Nation are consistent with the civil rights and civil liberties of its citizens and follow the rule of law. The Office also provides legal services in several areas where the law intersects with the achievement of mission goals, such as the coordination of rulemaking activities, managing interdepartmental clearance of proposed legislation, and providing legal training for law enforcement officers.

Legislative Affairs

The Office of Legislative Affairs serves as primary liaison to Members of Congress and their congressional staff. The Office responds to inquiries from Congress; notifies it about DHS initiatives, policies, and programs; and keeps the agency’s senior leaders informed about the activities of Congress. The Office also participates in the Senate confirmation process of each DHS nominee whom the President nominates.

Partnership / Engagement

The Office of Partnership and Engagement includes the following offices and programs: the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement, Private Sector Office, Office of Academic Engagement, Committee Management Office, Homeland Security Advisory Council, Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, Blue Campaign, and the "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign. The Office comprises stakeholder engagement offices that communicate with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and with law enforcement, the private sector, academia, and Federal advisory committees. These offices coordinate DHS programs and policies with these same stakeholders. The Office also serves as the liaison between these stakeholders and the Office of the Secretary. It promotes an integrated national approach to homeland security by coordinating and advancing Federal interaction with external stakeholders, and it continues the homeland security dialogue with those partners and with the national associations representing them.


The Privacy Office safeguards the collection, disclosure, and use of personally identifiable information and departmental information. It ensures that appropriate access to information is consistent with the core values, mission, and vision of DHS. The Office also implements the agency's policies to defend and protect the individual rights, liberties, and information interests of U.S. citizens. The Office has oversight of privacy and disclosure policy matters, including compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Freedom of Information Act, and the completion of statements addressing the effect of new programs and systems on privacy, as required by the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. | Email:

Public Affairs

The Office of Public Affairs coordinates the public affairs activities of DHS components and offices. It also serves as the Federal Government’s lead public information office during a national emergency or disaster. The Office is the point of contact for members of the news media, representatives of organizations, and the general public who seek information on DHS policies, procedures, programs, services, and statistics. The Office assists the Secretary with strategic and internal communications and with all matters of public affairs.

Strategy / Policy / Plans

The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans advises the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, develops policy and represents the DHS in interagency fora, coordinates and unifies policy positions, leads and coordinates international engagement and negotiations, operates the REAL ID and Visa Waiver programs, leads the development of operational and resource allocation guidance, develops strategies and operational plans, and collects and maintains and reports immigration data.


Citizenship / Immigration

The Unites States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the Nation's legal immigration system. Operating primarily by fee funding, it ensures that information and decisions on citizenship and immigration benefits are provided to applications and petitioners in an accurate, consistent, courteous, professional, and timely manner that is consistent with national security. USCIS also strengthens the integrity of the Nation’s legal immigration system by combating the unauthorized practice of immigration law, by helping to combat unauthorized employment in the workplace, and by deterring, detecting, and pursuing immigration-related fraud.

Customs / Border Protection

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection secures America's borders to protect the public from dangerous people and materials, while enabling legitimate trade and travel to enhance the Nation’s global economic competitiveness.

Cybersecurity / Infrastructure Security

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) builds the Nation's capacity to defend against cyber attacks and works with the Federal Government to provide cybersecurity tools, incident response services, and assessment capabilities to safeguard the networks that support the essential operations of partner departments and agencies. The Agency coordinates security and resilience efforts, using trusted partnerships across the private and public sectors, and delivers technical assistance and assessments to Federal stakeholders and to infrastructure owners and operators nationwide. Working with stakeholders nationwide, CISA conducts extensive outreach to support and strengthen the ability of emergency responders and relevant government officials to communicate in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster.

Emergency Management

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers a nationwide, risk-based, and comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. The goal is to reduce the loss of life and property and to protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. FEMA coordinates programs to improve the effectiveness of emergency response providers at all levels of the government, initiates proactive mitigation activities, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and U.S. Fire Administration. It also leads Government continuity planning, guidance, and operations for the Federal executive branch to minimize the disruption of essential operations and to guarantee enduring constitutional governance.

Immigration / Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the principal investigative arm of DHS. It promotes homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of Federal laws governing border control, customs, immigration, and trade.

Intelligence / Analysis

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis, as a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, is the nexus between the Nation’s intelligence apparatus and DHS components and other State, local, and private sector partners. The Office ensures that information is gathered from all relevant DHS field operations and other State, local, and private sector partners and that this information is shared with appropriate stakeholders to produce accurate, timely, and actionable analytical intelligence products and services.

Law Enforcement Training

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) is the Nation’s largest provider of law enforcement training. It offers career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently. Under a collaborative training model, FLETC’s Federal partner organizations provide training unique to their missions, while FLETC provides training in areas common to all law enforcement officers: driving, firearms, investigations, legal training, and tactics.


The Directorate for Management is responsible for accounting and finance, appropriations, budget, expenditure of funds, and procurement; equipment, facilities, property, and other material resources; human resources, personnel, and their security; identification and tracking of performance measurements relating to the responsibilities of the agency, and information technology and communication systems. The Directorate ensures that DHS employees have well-defined responsibilities and that managers and their employees have effective means of communicating with one another, with other governmental and nongovernmental bodies, and with the public they serve.

Maritime Safety / Security

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is the principal Federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and waterways. The USCG protects and defends more than 100,000 miles of coastline and inland waterways and safeguards an exclusive economic zone that stretches from north of the Arctic Circle to south of the equator, from Puerto Rico to Guam. The USCG is a member of the Intelligence Community and one of the five Armed Services. It is also a first response and humanitarian service provider that aids people in distress or impacted by natural and man-made disasters both at sea and ashore. It is a law enforcement and regulatory agency with broad legal authorities associated with bridge administration, hazardous materials shipping, maritime transportation, oil spill response, pilotage, and vessel construction and operation.

Nuclear Terrorism

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office focuses solely on preventing nuclear terrorism, in coordination with domestic and international partners, by improving deterrence, detection, response, and attribution. The Office coordinates development of the global nuclear detection architecture with partners from the private sector and local, State, Federal, and international governments. The Office develops, acquires, and supports the deployment of mechanisms to detect and report attempts to import, possess, store, transport, develop, or use unauthorized nuclear and other radioactive material in the United States. The Office also serves as steward of an enduring national technical nuclear forensics capability and leads efforts to improve national nuclear forensics expertise. Working with the international community, it promotes the development of nuclear detection architectures and nuclear forensics guidance.

Operations Coordination

The Office of Operations Coordination provides decision support and enables the Secretary's execution of responsibilities across the homeland security enterprise by promoting situational awareness and information sharing, integrating and synchronizing strategic operations, and administering the DHS continuity program. At the strategic level, the Office provides a joint operations coordination capability to support DHS operational decision making, departmental leadership, and participation in interagency operations throughout the homeland security enterprise and across all mission areas.

Presidential Protection / Safeguarding Financial and Payment Systems

The U.S. Secret Service carries out a dual mission of protection and investigation. It protects the President, Vice President, and their families; major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates; visiting heads of state and government; and National Special Security Events, as well as the White House and other designated buildings within the Washington, DC, area. The Secret Service also safeguards the Nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy.

Science / Technology

The Science and Technology Directorate is the primary research and development arm of the agency. The Directorate provides Federal, State, and local officials with protective technology and capabilities. Its strategic objectives are developing and deploying systems to prevent, detect, and mitigate the consequences of biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear, and radiological attacks; develop equipment, protocols, and training procedures for response and recovery; enhance the agency's and other Federal, State, local, and tribal government's technical capabilities to fulfill their homeland security-related functions; and develop technical standards and establish certified laboratories to evaluate homeland security and emergency responder technologies for SAFETY Act certification.

Transportation Security

The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

Sources of Information

A–Z Index

The DHS website has an alphabetical index of topics to help visitors navigate its content.

Archived Records

The general records of the Department of Homeland Security and the records of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are referenced in the "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States." The Guide is accessible online, and these records have been assigned respectively to Record Groups 563 and 566–568. None of these record groups has a description associated with it.

Audits / Inspections / Evaluations

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) posts reports on its website. Starting with the year 2003, the OIG's archives of audits, inspections, and evaluations cover the following areas of oversight: border security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, disaster recovery, immigration, management, and transportation security.


The DHS maintains a blog on its website.

Career Opportunities

The DHS is one of the largest agencies in the Federal Government. It offers career opportunities in the areas of immigration and travel security, law enforcement, mission support, and prevention and response. To carry out its mission, the agency relies on attorneys, contract specialists, engineers, intelligence analysts, K–9 officers, pilots, scientists, and many other types of experts and professionals.

In 2019, the DHS ranked 17th among 17 large Government agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Climate Preparedness and Resilience

FEMA's web page on climate change helps visitors learn more about the agency's resources and other Federal Government resources that support climate preparedness and resilience.

In "Best Practices & Key Considerations for Enhancing Federal Facility Security and Resilience to Climate-Related Hazards" (2015), the Interagency Security Committee identified threats posed by climate change to the assets, missions, operations, and workforce of the Federal Government. It also provided guidance and security planning considerations for agencies housed in nonmilitary Federal facilities. This document's main purpose is to identify short- and long-term strategies for enhancing physical security and resilience in the face climate-related threats.

Contact Information

Contact information for DHS headquarters, DHS components, and specific programs of interest is available on the "Direct Contact Information" web page.

The "Department White Pages" is a listing of key contacts that are organized by component. The listing includes email addresses and phone numbers.

Current Issues

The "In Focus" web page brings together in one place key current issues that fall within the scope of the Department's mission.


The DHS and its components provide Internet access to statistical reports and datasets: Coast Guard maritime information, Customs and Border Protection intellectual property rights recordations, Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declarations, immigration data, and more.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs)

Flooding can occur anywhere in the United States; however, certain areas are prone to serious flooding. To help communities understand their risk, flood maps or FIRMs have been created to show the locations of high-risk, moderate-to-low risk, and undetermined-risk areas. Banks, citizens, insurance agents, and all levels of government rely on FIRMs to determine whether flood insurance is required.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

To any person, the FOIA gives a statutory right for obtaining access to Government information in the records of executive branch agencies. This right to access is limited, however, when the requested information is shielded from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained within the statute. Instructions for submitting a FOIA request or filing a Privacy Act request and information on other FOIA-related matters are available on the DHS website.

The DHS maintains a FOIA library on its website. Information seekers should avail themselves of this online resource to determine if the desired record is immediately available and readily accessible without the additional effort of filing a FOIA request.

Frequently Requested Pages

Links to the most requested pages on the DHS website are collected in place for convenience.

Green Card

A person may obtain authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis in several ways: A family member or employer in the United States may sponsor the Green Card applicant; refugee or asylee status and other humanitarian programs offer additional pathways; and, in some cases, a person may be eligible to file on his or her own initiative for permanent residency.

How Do I?

The DHS website features a comprehensive section that arranges answers to "how do I" questions according to audience: DHS employees, businessmen and women, travelers, and the general public. Entrepreneurs can learn how to apply for grants, find forms for exporting and importing, and verify employment eligibility; travelers can learn how to check wait times at airports and border crossings; and members of the public can learn how to adopt a child internationally, become a citizen, check the status of an immigration case, prepare for a disaster, and report cyber incidents and suspicious activity.


The DHS website features a long list of keywords that are linked to pages containing information on the DHS, its components, and its mission.

Multilingual Resources

The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties identifies documents containing information that is particularly important to diverse communities of limited English proficiency. These documents are often translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

National Terrorism Advisories

Terrorism advisories that remain in effect and archived copies of ones that have expired are posted on the National Terrorism Advisory System web page.


Congress has established the requirements that a foreign citizen or national must fulfill to receive U.S. citizenship. The process of being granted citizenship is known as naturalization. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' website offers resources for those seeking citizenship through naturalization.


The DHS posts audio items, congressional testimony, factsheets, photos and videos, press releases, and speeches on its website. It also posts news items on national security in Spanish.

Open Government

The DHS supports the Open Government initiative by promoting the principles of collaboration, participation, and transparency.

Operational Components

The DHS comprises 10 operational components: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The DHS website offers easy access to each of their home pages.

Policy Facts

The information on the regularly updated "Myth vs. Fact" web page responds to misleading characterizations of DHS policies in the public domain.


The DHS publications library contains brochures, guidance and policy papers, guidelines, program regulations, reports, strategies, and more.

Report Cyber Incidents

To protect the Nation’s cybersecurity, the DHS has organizations dedicated to collecting information and reporting on cyber incidents, phishing, malware, and other vulnerabilities.

Site Links

The "Site Links" web page offers easy access to some of the most helpful resources on the DHS web site.

Site Map

The website map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

Social Media

The DHS maintains accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and Twitter. An online subscription form also is available to sign up for email updates.


The "Topics" web page offers convenient access to content that has been arranged topically.

Transportation Security

The "Transportation Security" web page provides information on transportation and travel: aviation security, cargo screening, domestic travel, electronic passports, visas, and more.

Travel Alerts

The DHS website offers convenient access to alerts and wait times: airport security checkpoint wait times from the Transportation Security Administration, airport wait times from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, international travel warnings from the Department of State, and health alerts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

White House Fence

The White House complex fence is in the process of being redesigned. The proposal for the new fence is accessible on the website of the U.S. Secret Service. See the Fine Arts Commission's 35-page presentation (JUN 2016) of the "White House Complex Fence—Phase 1."

The Sources of Information were updated 1–2020.