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Juliette Kayyem

Speaker

    Professional affiliation

    Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Affairs

    Juliette Kayyem has spent the last two decades in both state and federal government managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises. Professor Kayyem is currently the Senior Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty chair of the Homeland Security and Security and Global Health Projects. Previously, she served as President Obama's Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, where she played a pivotal role in major operations responding to the BP Oil Spill and H1N1 pandemic.

    Full Biography

    In academia, the private sector, government, and media, Juliette Kayyem is a national leader in homeland security, cybersecurity, resiliency, and safety.  She is currently a Professor in International Security at Harvard's  Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty chair of the Homeland Security and Security and Global  Health Projects. In this position, she teaches courses on homeland security and crisis management and leads programmatic efforts across a broad range of security challenges including North American border management,  climate change adaptation, and public health disinformation.  She is an affiliated faculty for Harvard’s National  Public Leadership Initiative.  She is co-editor of the book, “​Beyond 9/11: Homeland Security for the 21​st  Century​.” (MIT Press, 2020).

    Kayyem is an innovative leader and consultant in the private sector.  She is the CEO of Grip Mobility, a  technology platform that provides audio and video capabilities for rideshare companies to increase the security for drivers and riders; Grip Mobility is now distributed globally, with several major pilots with Uber.  She was named Inc Magazine’s top 100 Female Founders in 2019.  She also serves as a security advisor to start-ups such as Evolv Technologies, a firearm and bomb detection system, and major companies, such as Airbnb and UPS.  

    In government, she most recently served as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental  Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal leadership role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also led major efforts and stakeholder engagement in policies on critical infrastructure protections, cybersecurity, and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, climate change policies, and overseeing the National  Guard.  As an advisor, she served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory  Committee where she co-authored its strategic assessment of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.   

    In government, she most recently served as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental  Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal leadership role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also led major efforts and stakeholder engagement in policies on critical infrastructure protections, cybersecurity, and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, climate change policies, and overseeing the National  Guard.  As an advisor, she served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory  Committee where she co-authored its strategic assessment of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.   

    In government, she most recently served as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental  Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal leadership role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also led major efforts and stakeholder engagement in policies on critical infrastructure protections, cybersecurity, and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, climate change policies, and overseeing the National  Guard.  As an advisor, she served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory  Committee where she co-authored its strategic assessment of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.   

    A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and the mother of three children, she is married to  First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron.