Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas convened a meeting of the Homeland Security Advisory Council on Wednesday to discuss how the Department can continually improve the American public’s experience when engaging with DHS, as well as the delivery of its key services such as trade and travel facilitation, immigration benefits processing, and aviation security screening.
“Few other agencies in the federal government interact with as many Americans each day as the Department of Homeland Security,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “If we can make every interaction the American public has with our agency more efficient and more effective, we can better meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve. The Homeland Security Advisory Council’s wide-ranging expertise from the public and private sector is vital to these efforts.”
During the meeting, the Council’s Customer Experience and Service Delivery Subcommittee presented its final report. The report outlines how the Department can modernize and streamline its customer-facing processes, ensure adequate front-line resources, increase transparency, and continue to build trust and accountability with the public. The report noted the significant work the Department has already undertaken in this regard, and provided four key recommendations to build on that progress:
- Create accountability for customer experience
- Create a more flexible model to support staffing and hiring needs
- Leverage technology to optimize workforce and better support customer demands, and
- Improve customer communication, education, transparency, and accountability.
The report was unanimously accepted by the Council and will be formally provided to the Secretary. The full report will be made available to the public in the coming days. The Customer Experience and Service Delivery Subcommittee is comprised of:
- Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. – Co-Chair
- Lynn Good, Chair, President and CEO, Duke Energy – Co-Chair
- Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder and Chairman, Silverado Policy Accelerator
- Robert Isom, CEO, American Airlines, and
- Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO, Chobani, LLC.
Senior Department leaders also delivered remarks outlining progress being made within their agencies and offices to improve customer experience. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske detailed the agency’s efforts to improve both communication with the traveling public and the checkpoint experience while maintaining the highest levels of security. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks explained FEMA’s efforts in effectively delivering resources for disaster survivors, removing outdated barriers, and increasing speed from application to benefit delivery. DHS Chief Information Officer and Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Undersecretary for Management Eric Hysen detailed additional Department-level programs aimed at building our Customer Experience (CX) workforce.
During the meeting, Secretary Mayorkas swore in the newest member of the Council: Arthur B. (“A.B.”) Culverhouse. Ambassador Culverhouse joins the Council whose members include former cabinet secretaries from both Democratic and Republican administrations; chief executive officers from the technology, energy, transportation, financial, food and consumer products, and venture capital industries; executive leaders of national law enforcement organizations; presidents and CEOs of non-profit organizations dedicated to human rights, government accountability, and community security and empowerment; leaders of nonpartisan policy institutes; and other leading professionals.
Secretary Mayorkas has built a Council to help define the Department’s strategic vision, strengthen the Department to better meet the increasingly dynamic and rapidly evolving threat landscape, and harness technology and innovation to modernize the programs it administers.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council provides organizationally independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary; conducts research and provides policy analysis and recommendations on a variety of security issues; and evaluates the impact of security related public and private policies in an effort to formulate prospective security policies. Earlier this year, Secretary Mayorkas reconstituted and re-envisioned the Council to enable it to work more closely with the Department to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that an evolving homeland security landscape presents and to define the Department of the future.
The Department continues to actively recruit for roles in customer experience, product management, design, software engineering, and data science at multiple levels. To learn more, visit DHS.gov/Join-DHS-CX-Team.
More information about the Council, including taskings, reports, and recommendations, can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-advisory-council.