Homeland Security Program Office

About Us

NOAA established a Homeland Security Program Office (HSPO) within the Office of the Chief Information Officer shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. HSPO Director, Captain Debora Barr, NOAA Corps, serves as the principle point of contact for NOAA Executive Management regarding homeland security activities across the agency. Responsibilities of HSPO includes coordination of all plans, programs and policies regarding homeland security; ensuring continuity of operations; continued delivery of services and working with other offices to guarantee the safety and security of NOAA's people and facilities. HSPO established the NOAA Operations Center within NOAA to provide secure and reliable communications and coordinate NOAA response activities to incidents.

The NOAA Homeland Security Senior Management Team (HS SMT) acts as an executive steering committee to the NOAA HSPO, coordinating NOAA's HS-related policies and programs. It is comprised of representatives appointed by the Assistant Administrators and Directors of NOAA's Line and Staff Offices. The NOAA HS SMT also has operational responsibilities and responds to incidents where support from multiple line offices is needed and the NOAA Operations Center has been activated (either physically or virtually). Given their familiarity with HS-related activities and mission critical functions, many individuals on the NOAA HS SMT are also part of NOAA's Continuity of Operation's Emergency Relocation Group and have pre-defined roles in COOP activations at emergency/alternative operating sites.

Interagency Coordination

Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC): NOAA is helping to organize and coordinate federal emergency response through the IMAAC, which will provide decision makers with custom products and a single point of contact for all-hazards dispersion modeling predictions and assessments.

NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement (OLE): NOAA OLE agents continue to support investigative, security, and search and recovery efforts in collaboration with other federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

National Operations Center Support (NOC): Since June 2004, NOAA staff members have supported the NOC, which provides operational communications, information, and resource coordination for domestic incident management. Specifically, NOAA provides environmental/weather forecasts and air dispersion vulnerability assessments based on meteorological conditions at venues across the county, including national holiday events (such as July 4th), the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and even 24/7 support for natural disasters (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). DHS NOC

Maritime Domain Awareness: NOAA has assisted the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy in implementing the Maritime Domain Awareness Program, which is developing a national MDA strategy that will ensure interagency coordination of homeland security policy and requirements in marine areas.