Terror's Continuing Threat
Americans should be grateful that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have not succeeded in attacking this country since Sept. 11, 2001. But gratitude should not lead to complacency. According to Michael Chertoff, the threat of a terrorist attack "has not abated ... and we can't turn the page on it." Terrorists will continue to try to damage the United States over the next five years in a number of ways. Secretary Chertoff assesses the threats facing our country and talks about what is being done to foil terrorist plots.
Data Protectionism and National Security
The balance between privacy and national security has been a major debate, most intensely since the attacks of 9/11. Chertoff founded the Data Equilibrium project to explore legislation and policy to protect our nation and our privacy. In this speech, Chertoff discusses the challenges the need for one poses to the other and what we can do as a society and what we can expect from our government.
Cyber-Security and Our Economic Infrastructure
With respect to terrorism, the cyber-security threat could have a potentially serious impact on the safety and well-being of American citizens. The most publicized threats to U.S. cyber-security are from people hacking into systems, but Secretary Chertoff asserts the U.S. needs to be prepared to deal with a full spectrum of threats, including individuals compromising systems from within and the security of supply chains. While chemical, IT, and banking and finance sectors face a particular concern about the collateral consequences of a cyber-attack, Secretary Chertoff identifies a systematic strategy for dealing with reducing, if not eliminating cyber-security issues for business and industry.
Emerging Security Threats for the Next Decade
Based on the speaker’s extensive involvement in homeland security, this speech explores non-state security threats over the decade to come. The speech discusses dangers posed by: Al-Qaeda and allied organizations; Hezbollah and Iran; the problematic relationship between terror groups and anti-American governments in South America; transnational criminal groups such as MS-13; and the increasing threat of drug cartels in Mexico. The speech also covers current National Security and Homeland Security strategies, and addresses security challenges posed by foreign investment in sensitive domestic industries (based on the speaker’s experiences as a member of the U.S. Commission on Foreign Investment in the United States). Finally, the speech will focus on vulnerabilities in a global environment, including supply chain disruption and cyberwarfare.
Risk and Crisis Management in the Coming Decade
From the standpoint of a senior official involved in managing many of the major crises since 2001, this speech explores strategies for managing risk and addressing crises. The speech draws upon the speaker’s experiences as Head of the Department of Justice Criminal Division and as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in managing the responses to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and subsequent plots (including the 2006 UK airline plot); the Enron and corporate accounting scandals; and natural disasters from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, as well as the California wildfires; and Midwestern flood and tornadoes. The speech describes lessons learned in terms of preparedness; resiliency and response in exceptionally high-profile media environments, covering questions such as: “How much preparation is enough? What is the role of the private sector? How do we decide when our information flow is disrupted? How do we maintain credibility with the government, stakeholders and the public?
Solving the Immigration Crisis
Legal and illegal migration is one of the most significant international issues in the 21st century, and certainly is a durable public issue in the United States. This speech explains the roots and effects of the current controversy over illegal immigration. Based on the speaker’s experiences as Secretary of Homeland Security in designing the currently successful Secure Border Initiative and in negotiating the 2007 bi-partisan Senate comprehensive immigration proposal, this speech provides an inside look at the policies, practicalities and politics of one of the salient public policy issues of the decade. The speech will analyze what worked and what didn’t in the 2007comprehensive immigration bill, and suggests a likely way forward. It analyzes likely trends in enforcement, and the prospects for increased legal immigration, especially for high-skilled workers. Based on the speaker’s experiences with international counterparts, this speech will also put immigration in the larger context of global migration.
Michael Chertoff's new book reveals how to protect ourselves in the digital age
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff's new book, Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age is a fascinating, informative and crucial exploration of the most dangerous threat we face individually and as a society: the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal information. Chertoff makes clear that our laws and policies surrounding the protection of personal information, written for an earlier time, need to be completely overhauled in the Internet era. In offering his compelling call for action, Chertoff argues that what is at stake is not so much the simple loss of privacy, which is almost impossible to protect, but of individual autonomy―the ability to make personal choices free of manipulation or coercion. Drawing on his extensive cyber-security expertise working for the government and at the helm of global security firm The Chertoff Group, Chertoff offers colorful stories that illuminate the three periods of data gathering we have experienced. He explains the complex legalities surrounding issues of data collection and dissemination today, and charts a path that balances the needs of government, business, and individuals alike. Due for publication July 10, Exploding Data is already receiving rave reviews, such as: “Few people―maybe only Michael Chertoff―could write a book like this. It combines his unique experience as Federal prosecutor, judge, assistant attorney general on 9/11 and then Secretary of Homeland Security...This “must read” book describes the barriers to “opting out” and the need to modernize legal authorities if we are to protect both security and privacy.”(Jane Harman, CEO of the Wilson Center) “This important book offers highly intelligent commentary, of a kind I have not read elsewhere, on the challenges posed by the technology revolution and the accompanying ‘explosion’ of data. Michael Chertoff’s experience as a leader in national security, where we worked together, brings exceptional insight to issues we spend so much time talking about and find difficult to understand." (Sir John Scarlett, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service)
Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security and counterterrorism expert, seeks to fill in the divide between national security and privacy
MICHAEL CHERTOFF founded The Digital Equilibrium Project which aims to bring parties together to enable policy and lawmaking which protects privacy in the digital world without compromising national security.Find out more >>
Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is Co-founder and Executive Chairman of The Chertoff Group
“Our principals earned their reputations through direct operational responsibility and demonstrating successful results. By applying that same dedicated ‘hands on’ approach, we are now helping our clients achieve their objectives.” - MICHAEL CHERTOFF
The Chertoff Group is a premier global advisory firm focused on security and risk management. Founded in 2009, The Chertoff Group helps clients accelerate growth and secure their enterprise by offering strategic business consulting, mergers and acquisitions advisory services, and risk management security services. Their professionals include former Cabinet-level officials, senior intelligence and national security officers, private-equity CEOs, and experienced investment bankers from the most distinguished Wall Street firms. Whether it is an innovative new startup entering the market, a proven company, or a global leader, The Chertoff Group advises companies on ways to distinguish themselves in a competitive environment and bring secure solutions to the marketplace.Read more >>
Mr. Chertoff is co- founder and executive chairman of The Chertoff Group, a security and risk management firm, where he provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues, from risk identification and prevention to preparedness, response and recovery.
As the 2nd Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Chertoff strengthened our nation’s borders, provided intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, increased the Department’s focus on preparedness ahead of disasters, and implemented enhanced security at airports and borders. Following Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff transformed FEMA into an effective organization.
Prior to his nomination by President George W. Bush, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Chertoff also served as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1990-1994 and as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Williams Brennan, Jr. from 1979-1980.
Mr. Chertoff has received numerous awards including the Department of Justice Henry E. Petersen Memorial Award (2006); the Department of Justice John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation (1987); NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks Award for Distinguished Service (2007); European Institute Transatlantic Leadership Award (2008); and two honorary doctorates.