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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

Secretary Jeh Johnson - Former Secretary of Homeland Security

“The State of our Homeland Security, 17 Years after 9/11”

Thursday September 13,2018

On September 11, 2001 Jeh Johnson, on his 44th birthday, witnessed the collapse of the twin towers in New York City. That terror attack led to the formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security , which Mr. Johnson led as Secretary from 2013 until early 2017. At our September dinner Secretary Johnson will discuss the state of our homeland security 17 years after 9/11.
 
The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002, was given responsibility for 22 existing or newly created organizations. With over 220,000 employees, DHS is the third largest government department. Among the responsibilities under Mr. Johnson’s leadership were immigration and citizenship, border patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), TSA, and law enforcement training.
 
DHS was formed in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The initial focus of the department was to protect our country from another such terrorist event. In a recent survey of former leaders of U.S. security agencies the threat of terrorism from external actors was listed as the seventh most critical threat to our country. A major cyber attack on our infrastructure was considered the greatest threat. It is likely that few in the public knew in 2001 what a cyber attack is. In the past 17 years we have avoided a major terror attack by foreigners but how are we doing in preparing for a major cyber attack? And how are we doing in managing immigration, controlling the border, protecting our transportation system, and providing emergency relief?
 
On the DHS web page the Mission of DHS is described as “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.” In a recent OP-ED in the Washington Post Mr. Johnson wrote that ‘The current “zero tolerance’ deterrent policy, resulting in the separation of 2,000 innocent migrant children from their parents, is immoral and un-American.” Three weeks later in the same paper Mr. Johnson argued that the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), as many on the left urge, was not serious policy and would endanger public safety. We are fortunate to have Secretary Johnson with us in September to comment on the current activities of DHS and the state of our homeland security 17 years after 9/11.
 
Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson was appointed as Secretary of Homeland Security in 2013 by President Obama and was confirmed by the Senate with a 78-16 vote. Mr. Johnson served until the end of the Obama administration. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Johnson was General Counsel of the Department of Defense. During the Clinton
administration Johnson served as General Counsel of the Air Force. From 1989 until 1991 he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Johnson is a partner at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and was with that firm between service periods in the government.
 
Jeh Johnson earned a BA from Morehouse College and a JD from Columbia University. He is the grandson of sociologist and Fisk University President Charles S. Johnson.
 
6:00 Cocktails 6:45 Dinner 7:45 Address and Discussion

Meal A: Grilled Swordfish
Meal B: Petite Filet Mignon
Meal C: Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto