George W. Foresman

Former Under-Secretary of Homeland Security

Senior Advisor

The Honorable George W. Foresman is currently President of Highland Risk & Crisis Solutions, Ltd, a firm that assists corporations and government organizations in understanding and mitigating homeland and national security risks, both domestically and internationally. He also is a partner in FGM Solutions LLC, a firm that provides strategic counsel to businesses in the Defense, National Security and Homeland Security, public and private sector markets.

 

 Previously, Foresman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2005 as America’s first Under Secretary of Preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and subsequently became the first Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs, before leaving government in 2007. As the number three official at DHS, he led efforts to integrate and advance homeland security efforts, at both the department and national levels by instituting management reforms and enhancing stakeholder engagement. Under his leadership, DHS and the nation made significant advancements in the areas of private and public sector infrastructure protection, communications interoperability, bio-medical defense, cyber and chemical security, bio-metric verification, intelligence and information sharing as well as its multi-billion dollar grant programs, among others.

 

Foresman’s responsibilities included direct oversight of key department programs including U.S. VISIT, Infrastructure Protection, Cyber Security and Communications, Grants and Training, Chief Medical Officer (now Health Affairs), National Fire Administration, National Capital Region Coordination, Inter-governmental Programs and Risk Management and Analysis. Foresman served Manager of the National Communications System and Chaired its Committee of Principles – the group that sets priorities for national contingency telecommunications. He was designated as the DHS representative to the Department of Defense, Nuclear Command and Control Committee of Principles, Chaired by its Deputy Secretary, as well as the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Council (NSTAC) and National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), the latter two being Presidential advisory bodies. He worked closely with a wide array of federal, state and local leaders and leading business CEO’s to develop and implement comprehensive risk management and reduction strategies for guiding America’s public and private sector resource commitments for homeland security.

 

Prior to his appointment to the Department of Homeland Security, Foresman had extensive experience in homeland security, emergency response and preparedness. He served as Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness and as Homeland Security Advisor in Virginia, a Cabinet level position. In this capacity he served as chief liaison with the White House, the military, Congress, other local governments and the private sector, addressing both Homeland Security and Defense issues. Foresman chaired the Secure Commonwealth Panel and led the Governor’s initiative responsible for strengthening Virginia’s security and preparedness for emergencies and disasters of all kinds, including terrorism. He Co-Chaired the Virginia Military Advisory Council which leveraged the resources of Virginia to help military facilities and Defense related businesses succeed, with a focus on research and development and expansion opportunities. Along with this, he led Virginia’s efforts related to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.

 

Foresman is nationally recognized in the fields of emergency preparedness and homeland security. He was a member and vice-chair of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, “the Gilmore Commission”, established by Congress in 1998 to evaluate America’s readiness for terrorism. The panel delivered five annual reports to the Congress and President before completing its work in December 2003. More than 146 of the Panel’s 164 recommendations have been adopted in part or whole,

 

Foresman’s career in government spans more than a quarter-Century. A native of Lexington, Virginia, Foresman began his government career as a public safety responder in 1979 and joined Virginia state government in 1985. He has worked for five Governors, been active on countless national working groups and task forces, and has managed crisis events ranging from accidents, to acts of nature to terrorist attacks.

 

Mr. Foresman is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, as well as the Virginia Executive Institute.

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