Kristina Tanasichuk, Executive Editor of HSToday, sat down with Curtis Tilley, Branch Chief at the Office for Bombing Prevention, CISA to discuss his award for Excellence in Outreach – Federal.
Branch Chief Curtis Tilley at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Bombing Prevention, within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, consistently displays the agency’s core values of honesty, professionalism, and public service. He understands the importance of building connections, developing relationships and collaboration to drive smarter, more insightful engagements with national and international public safety organizations and security professionals. Tilley was instrumental in the federal government’s response to bomb threats that targeted Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). He developed a communication strategy and outreach plan to provide just-in-time products specifically for HBCUs. He led the effort to develop a suite of resources to assist universities in responding to bomb threats, including critical resources for handling bomb threats that provide an overview of available resources, a bomb threat response plan template, bomb threat awareness, and a tabletop exercise package. This was followed by numerous training events for HBCUs in face-to-face and virtual deliveries.
Tilley’s innovative strategies were key in the office’s international engagements with Canada, Mexico, Romania, and the United Nations to help build counter-IED core capabilities and enhance awareness of terrorist threats. This strategy called for a shared approach to security in which the partnering countries work together to address threats to critical infrastructure and citizenry. He led the office’s outreach efforts with Public Safety Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the Beyond the Border initiative to enhance understanding of the bomb threat environment and share information and training products to help enhance cross-border critical infrastructure protection and resilience. Tilley, in cooperation with the Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, led the international collaboration efforts with the Mexican government to share bombing prevention practices and awareness training products. The benefits of the yearlong outreach effort were realized when the Office for Bombing Prevention delivered training to members of the Mexican Secretariat of the Navy, Secretariat of Defense, Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection, Federal Protective Service and the National Coordination of Civil Protection. Tilley was instrumental in the office’s efforts to protect life and critical infrastructure by building capabilities within the general public and across the public and private sectors to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate bombing incidents. The OBP Training Branch under his leadership recently reached a milestone of training its 150,000th person in bombing prevention.