In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, HSToday introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021, celebrating individuals who’ve dedicated their lives to the nation’s safety post 9/11 and showcased remarkable agility and selflessness in homeland security pursuits.
This year’s honoree is Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, president of Cambridge Global and a key figure in evolving homeland security before, during, and after 9/11, at the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State.
In early 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Brigadier General Taylor to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism, where he was responsible for implementing U.S. counterterrorism policy overseas and coordinating the U.S. government response to international terrorist activities. Holding this position on 9/11, Taylor quickly became a key advisor in assisting President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell in forming the international coalition against terrorism and developing aggressive international policy implementation to defeat terrorism.
President Bush then nominated Taylor to be Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, with a rank of Ambassador. Taylor oversaw and architected all Department of State security programs that protect all U.S. government employees and buildings overseas from terrorist, criminal or technical attack, and ensure the integrity of classified national security information produced and stored in these facilities. Leading more than 32,500 US, foreign and contractor personnel, he provided security for all U.S. government employees assigned to over 250 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. The Ambassador also directed the law enforcement function of the Bureau, wherein Diplomatic Security Service special agents protect the Secretary of State and foreign dignitaries who visit the United States and conduct criminal investigations of violation of U.S. Visa and Immigration statutes. As Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, Taylor regulated the activities of foreign missions in the United States to protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States and safeguard the American public from abuses of privileges and immunities by diplomatic and consular officials.
Before his work on the nation’s response to the 9/11 attacks, Taylor served a distinguished career in the Department of Defense; his military tenure of 31 years is peppered with commendable positions, serving as a counterintelligence officer at the Middle East, Africa and South Asia Division at AFOSI; chief of the Counterintelligence Acquisition and Analysis Branch in Ankara, Turkey; followed by deputy director for operations in the Directorate of Counterintelligence and Investigative Programs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; culminating as the commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
His accolades include the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, among others. An alumnus of Notre Dame, Taylor has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in government and international studies and is a distinguished graduate of their Air Force ROTC program.
Taylor joined the General Electric Company as Vice President and Chief Security Officer on March 7, 2005. He is responsible for overseeing GE’s global security operations and crisis management processes.
In 2014, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Taylor as the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis for the Department of Homeland Security.
Between 2014 and 2016, Taylor was the under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He now is President of Cambridge Global Advisors where he continues his work protecting America by assisting clients in the management, development, and implementation of their national security programs, practices, and policies, with a special interest in homeland security.
In his illustrious 35-year governmental career, Taylor played a pivotal role in U.S. counterterrorism policy implementation overseas and was instrumental in forging the global coalition against terrorism.
We at HSToday thank him for his tremendous service and his devotion to the nation.