The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector.
First Homeland Security Secretary Secretary: Thomas J. Ridge, 2003 – 2005
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Thomas (Tom) Ridge became the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security. On January 24, 2003, Ridge became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During his tenure, Ridge worked with more than 180,000 employees from a combined 22 components to come together as one agency to strengthen our borders, provide for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division. Ridge served the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security until February 1, 2005.
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