ANSER Institute for Homeland Security

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The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security is the Department of Homeland Security's first "government think tank," or Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), focused on providing independent analysis on homeland security concerns. [1] The Institute operates within Analytic Sytems Inc. (also known as the ANSER Institute).

Although the DHS Science and Technology Directorate announced in 2004 that they "selected [ANSER] to operate the Homeland Security Institute . . . [f]ollowing a full and open competition procurement process conducted by Science and Technology,"[1] the Institute was "initiated and funded by ANSER's Board of Trustees in October 1999" and "formally established in April 2001."[2].

The Institute

Governance and Enabling Legislation

According to the Institute's website, it "is a not-for-profit center that operates under an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract vehicle between DHS and Analytic Services Inc."[3] The Under Secretary for the DHS Science and Technology Directorate was authorized to fund FFRDCs like the Institute under The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Section 305 of PL 107-296, as codified in 6 U.S.C. 185), and ANSER operates the Institute as an FFRDC for DHS under contract HSHQDC-09-D-00003.[4]


The Institute for Homeland Security is an off-shoot of the ANSER Institute, which was established by the RAND Corporation in 1958.[1] As Margie Burns wrote June 29, 2002, in Online Journal: "Although funded and initiated in October 1999, the institute was formally established only in April 2001, following a month of high-tech and heavy-hitter-security-type buzz assisted by its ties to the military and to the intelligence community. On March 13-15, 2001, the Homeland Security (HLS) Mini-Symposium was held by the Military Operations Research Society (Alexandria, VA), at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.

"Also on March 13, [2001] by coincidence, George Walker Bush released his first National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) (dated February 13, 2001), which expanded the National Security Council and added 11 new coordinating committees." [2]

The NSPD directed the Deputy National Security Adviser -- Bush appointee Stephen J. Hadley, formerly with the National Institute for Public Policy and a former member of ANSER's Board of Trustees -- to attend NSC meetings, and makeing him Executive Secretary of the NSC.

"Interestingly -- given today's emphasis on 'coordinating' and 'information-sharing' -- the directive also stated, 'The existing system of Interagency Working Groups is abolished.'" ibid.

Homeland Security?

Burns continued: "Perhaps as part of the same push last March, a now-gone web page from the Institute for Homeland Security answers a question posed on March 30, 2002, by Mark Bower of the Air National Guard: why homeland?" ibid.

The Institute's answer conceded that the catch phrase homeland defense had only "recently entered the lexicon of public discourse," although "the concept of 'defending the homeland' is an idea dating back through the better part of human history. To the best of knowledge, the Burns added, the term homeland defense is attributed to a 1997 report by the National Defense Panel. "News reports credit it to panel member Richard L. Armitage, former CIA officer and now deputy secretary of State, though Mr. Armitage has not taken full credit for it -- understandably." [3]

Writing for Buzzflash, Margie Burns postulated, "If Congress actually creates a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security [which occurred through Executive Order on February 28, 2003], we will have a Cabinet office named after a corporation. Members of the House Committee on Government Reform and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee should be watchful. The government has already given the company lavish free advertising, with assistance from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's publications. In spite of the Institute, the phrase homeland security was little seen in the popular media before September 2002 (at least in this country); aside from a sprinkling of journals and think tanks, only the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times newspaper, Insight Magazine, and UPI boosted the Institute and its central catch phrase with any frequency." ibid.

Burns continued in Online Journal, "Immediately after September 11, the Washington Times was foremost in aggressively touting and defending -- indeed, insisting on -- instant adoption of homeland as the term of the hour, in articles published on September 16, 22, 30, and October 3 [2001], also citing ANSER. Predictably, the institute's web site also references articles from the Washington Times." ibid.


According to the ANSER Institute web site, in May 2001, the ANSER Institute of Homeland Security "was established to enhance public awareness and education and contribute to the dialog on a national, state, and local level." [4]

However, when Dr. Ruth A. David, Ph.D., the Institute's CEO, was named the 2001 Bloomfield Distinguished Engineer-in-Residence at the College of Engineering at Wichita State University, the university's web pages stated: "ANSER ... performs technical, program, and policy analyses for the Department of Defense."

Additionally, at a plenary session presentation held at MORS from February 29 to March 2, 2000, and attended by Dr. David, ANSER was described as a "Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)." [5]

On another occasion, "Mark DeMier of ANSER Analytic Services, a nonprofit U.S. Air Force-funded think tank, and editor of its Homeland Security Bulletin is quoted as saying. 'There is no single, coordinated U.S. government definition of homeland defense.'" [6]

See ANSER Institute for more on the Institute's corporate status.

Institutional Goals

"The Institute believes that preparing for these new challenges will require a determined, integrated effort at every stage of the process: deterrence, prevention, preemption, crisis management, consequence management, attribution and response." The Institute states that it is "leading the debate through executive-level education, public awareness programs, workshops for policy makers and online publications." ANSER produces a weekly 15,000-subscriber newsletter and the Journal of Homeland Security, "which features articles by senior government leaders and leading homeland security experts."

In the spring of 2002, one analysis of the Institute's performance stated that the then less than two years old Institute had "already gained recognition outside of the Beltway as a landmine of information regarding timely and in-depth debates concerning national security policy." The Institute's newsletter provided "one example of ANSER's increasing position of influence, as initially fewer than 100 people subscribed to the weekly email," which had then "grown to include over 100,000 readers." The Institute's Journal of Homeland Security quickly become "a staple for those involved in national security industries, as it provides a comprehensive overview of homeland defense, with article authorship being balanced between defense experts and academics alike." ibid.

Further evidence of ANSER's influence comes from none other than the Council on Foreign Relations: "Due to its rising influence, earlier this year [2002], Foreign Affairs published a review of the Institute for Homeland Security, noting that the Institute's 'Web site presents an array of resources, including an online journal, access to the syllabi of several courses on terrorism and homeland security, links to a wide variety of Internet sources, and a virtual library' on homeland defense.'" ibid.

'Partnership agreements' with other policy-oriented agencies such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the RAND Corporation were also praised. Additionally, the Secretary of the United States Air Force "hailed ANSER for producing products for the defense industry 'marked by quality, responsiveness, and objectivity.'" ibid.

Other Programs

"ANSER has also been offering online programs in cooperation with American Military University in Manassas, VA, leading to certificates in Homeland Defense, Forecasting Terrorism, and Homeland Security. A course called Homeland Security, conducted by the Institute's Director Colonel Randall Larsen, was geared up to begin fall 2001 at the National War College, with the first lecture by Col. (ret) Randall Larsen and Col. Robert Kadlec on homeland security coincidentally scheduled for September 11." ibid.

The Washington Post, according to its 1998 annual report, engaged in a joint venture with ANSER: "'Legi-Slate, a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company ... and ANSER ... [April 15] announced the partnership to provide ANSER's summaries of congressional hearings on defense acquisition and readiness on Legi-Slate's online service.' ... The Post Company 'disposed of substantially all' its Legi-Slate assets in 1999 ... "ibid.

Leadership Team (as of September, 2010)[5]

Corporate Officers

  • Dr. Ruth A. David, Ph.D. (President & Chief Executive Officer)
  • Philip Anderson, Ph.D (Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, HSI Operating Unit)
  • Mr. George Thompson (Vice President, Deputy Director for Homeland Security Programs, (HSP), Mission Area Director for Departmental Unification and Integration)
  • Mr. Robert Tuohy (Vice President, Deputy Director for Homeland Security Operations, (HSO), Mission Area Director for Resilience, Emergency Preparedness, and Response)

Director's Staff

  • Richard Kohout (Mission Area Director, Counterterrorism, Borders, and Immigration)
  • Glenn Price (Fellow, Outreach Program Director)
  • Margaret "Jo" Velardo, PhD (Research Director)

Division Managers

  • Gerald "Jerry" Diaz, Ph.D (Fellow, HSO Directorate, Manager, Operations Analysis Division)
  • Mark Hanson (Fellow, HSO Directorate Manager, Threat and Risk Analysis Division)
  • Sarah Maloney (Fellow, HSP Directorate Manager, Business Enterprise Analysis Division)
  • Stephen Ries, PhD (Fellow, HSP Directorate Manager, Work Force Analysis Division)
  • Shelby Syckes (Fellow, HSP Directorate Manager, Program Analysis Division)

Senior Research Staff

  • John Baker (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Charles Brownstein, PhD (Fellow, HSP Directorate)
  • Joseph Chang, PhD (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Samuel Clovis, PhD (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Kim Corthell (Fellow, HSP Directorate)
  • Gary Foster (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Jerome Kahan (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Curt Mann (Fellow, HSP Directorate)
  • David McGarvey, Ph.D (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Howard Smith (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Peter Zimmerman, PhD (Fellow, HSO Directorate)
  • Robert Zimmerman (Fellow, HSP Directorate)

Past Institute Personnel

Board of Advisors

Contact details

ANSER (Analytic Services Inc.)
1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 800
Arlington, Virginia 22202-3251

Other Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Homeland Security Establishes Its First Government "Think Tank", Department of Homeland Security press release, April 23 2004, from the DHS website], accessed August 31, 2010.
  2. ANSER Homeland Security Institute newsletter, August 21, 2003, accessed August 31, 2010
  3. "Governance" page on the ANSER Homeland Security Institute website, accessed August 31, 2010.
  4. Home Page, ANSER Homeland Security Institute website], accessed August 31, 2010.
  5. "Leadership" page on the ANSER Homeland Security Institute website, accessed August 31, 2010.