On June 8, 2005, DomPrep.com’s John F. Morton and Martin Masiuk visited John Thomasian, the director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices at NGA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Mr. Thomasian was fresh from a two-day National Executive Forum for State Homeland Security Directors held early last week in nearby Annapolis, Md., which was addressed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The forum theme was "Where Are We Now; Where Do We Need To Go?" In his report-out, he said state homeland security directors are now putting more stress on prevention as opposed to response and that the forum embraced the all-hazards approach to public safety, which engages the private sector. In his remarks, Thomasian provides us with the forum’s short assessment of current capabilities, areas of greatest progress, and areas needing most work, while focusing on three operational themes: intelligence fusion, critical infrastructure protection, and health and medical readiness.
DomPrep.com divided the 22 minute, 56 second interview into three segments.
Listen to Audio Segment One: Intelligence and Information Sharing
A discussion of the current thinking on intelligence fusion centers – the need for federal assistance and the shortage of trained analysts. The forum’s full endorsement of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s recent intelligence sharing study for the Homeland Security Advisory Council
Duration: 9 Minutes 06 Seconds
Listen to Audio Segment Two: Critical Infrastructure Protection
The state homeland security directors’ critique of DHS Information Assurance/Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) guidance on critical infrastructure. The disconnect that remains between federal and state approaches to critical infrastructure protection (CIP). The need for one threat/risk assessment methodology that is transparent and a process that puts state directors at the table along with the federal government and the private sector.
Duration: 4 Minutes 44 Seconds
Listen to Audio Segment Three: Public Health Preparedness and the Integration of Public Health with Homeland Security
The state homeland security directors’ support of Regions VII and VIII’s ten-state Mid-America Alliance for public health preparedness as an example of regional cooperation that can serve as a model for other regions. Recognition of the need for pandemic influenza preparedness.
Duration: 9 Minutes 06 Seconds
John Thomasian, Director, Center for Best Practices National Governors Association Directs the NGA Center for Best Practices, which helps governors and their policy advisors develop and implement innovative solutions to governance and policy challenges. The NGA Center’s team of 50 researchers and policy experts provide tailored technical assistance, track and evaluate state innovations and best practices, and help governors and their staff develop cutting-edge solutions to stay ahead of potential problems. In addition, Thomasian supervises NGA Center forums, at which state policy leaders discuss solutions to critical issues affecting the states. As Center director, he oversees all areas of domestic policy with particular areas of expertise, including, energy issues, health care reform, homeland security and the economy.