Newswise — Washington, D.C.—The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) welcomed its first Canadian Exchange Officer today as part of a partnership with Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS).
The Exchange Officer (EO) program was developed to strengthen cooperation, improve understanding of each Department’s respective operations, and promote innovation and improvements in how each carries out its mission.
“We are excited to establish this partnership with DRDC. Working together with our Canadian counterparts allows us to combine our expertise and experience to further both our nation’s abilities to better prevent, respond to and recover from hazards and homeland security threats,” said Dr. Robert Griffin, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology (Acting).
“Collaboration with our American counterparts is key to finding solutions to common public safety and security challenges. These types of arrangements are about leveraging the best minds and assets in the innovation system to bolster already existing ties and identify new areas for cooperation,” said Dr. Marc Fortin, Assistant Deputy Minister (S&T) and Chief Executive Officer of DRDC.
To advance the two countries’ bilateral relationship and implement the EO program, Mr. Colin Murray has been embedded within the DHS S&T structure in Washington, D.C. since mid-December. Mr. Murray will advise on DRDC’s best practices related to national security, public safety, and research and development programs. He will also facilitate improvements in communications for safety and security programs and will coordinate joint DHS S&T and DRDC CSS policy, planning, programs, and operational best practices.
Mr. Murray has served on several interdepartmental planning teams, supported Canada’s science and technology (S&T) response to such disasters as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Kashmir earthquake of 2005. He joined DRDC CSS in 2006 and for the past decade has focused on advancing innovation in support of domestic and multinational safety and security operations, with a focus on community resilience.
• The Science and Technology Directorate is as the primary research and development arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is to deliver effective and innovative insight, methods, and solutions for the critical needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise. S&T manages science and technology research, from development through transition, for the department's operational components and the nation’s first responders and critical infrastructure. S&T’s engineers, scientists and researchers work closely with industry and academic partners to ensure R&D investments address the high-priority needs of today and the growing demands of the future.
• DRDC is Canada’s national leader in defence and security science and technology. As an agency of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND), DRDC provides DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities with the knowledge and technology advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad.
• DRDC CSS is one of eight DRDC research centres across Canada to carry S&T research. DRDC CSS is a joint endeavour between DND and Public Safety Canada that contributes to strengthening Canada's ability to anticipate, prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, crime, natural disasters and serious accidents. DRDC CSS also provides evidence-based advice by applying scientific methodologies and expertise to support policy development, as well as emergency and security planning and operations.