Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland Symposium

Thursday, Mar 23, 2017   |   9:00 AM - 5:00 PM   |  Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the Intelligence Studies Project (ISP) and Business Executives for National Security hosted a symposium, “Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland,” at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on the campus of UT Austin.

“Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland” was designed to promote an exchange of well-informed views on the challenges our intelligence and law enforcement agencies face in detecting and disrupting attacks inside the U.S. by violent extremists. We were honored that James Comey, the Director of the FBI, Thomas Bossert, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Admiral Kurt Tidd, Commander U.S. Southern Command, participated and delivered keynote remarks.

We were joined by a variety of homeland security experts who spoke on state and local government challenges, civil liberties, and the nature of the evolving threat that the United States currently faces. Students, faculty, community members, and media were in attendance.

This event was co-sponsored by the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the Clements Center for National Security, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

For photos of the event, please visit the ISP Flickr site


Welcome by Gregory Fenves, President of The University of Texas at Austin

An Evolving Domestic Threat: A Discussion with Bruce Hoffman and Peter Bergen

  • Bruce Hoffman, Director of the Center for Security Studies and Professor at Georgetown University
    Peter Bergen, Author and CNN National Security Analyst
  • Moderator: Michele L. Malvesti, Professor of Practice in International Security Studies at Tufts University

Keynote Remarks by James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Introduction by Chancellor William McRaven
  • Discussion and audience questions moderated by William Inboden, Executive Director of the Clements Center for National Security

Challenges for State and Local Governments in Countering Extremist Violence: A Panel Discussion with Steve McCraw, Lt. Gen. John Bansemer, and Robert Griffin

  • Steve McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety
    Lt. Gen. John Bansemer, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Partner Engagement at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Robert Griffin, Serial Entrepreneur in Intelligence and National Security
  • Moderator: Samuel Rascoff, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and Security at New York University

Keynote Remarks by Thomas Bossert, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

  • Discussion and audience questions moderated by Stephen Slick, Director of the Intelligence Studies Project

Commanders’ Perspectives

  • Remarks by Commander, U.S. Southern Command, Adm Kurt Tidd
  • Commentary by Chancellor William McRaven and Gen. (Ret) Norton Schwartz, President and CEO of the Business Executives for National Security
  • Moderator: Christine Abizaid, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia

Safeguarding Civil Liberties While Defending the Homeland: A Conversation between Ben Wittes and Hina Shamsi

  • Ben Wittes, Editor-in-Chief of Lawfare and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution
    Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU National Security Project
  • Moderator: Robert Chesney, Director of the Strauss Center for International Security and Law

New Approaches to Securing the Homeland

  • Closing Remarks by Gen. Norton Schwartz

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