About The Homeland Security Project
Initiated shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, The Century Foundation’s Homeland Security Project helps to inform the public and influence policymaking about complex challenges related to preventing and responding to domestic terrorism. Originally organized around three high-level working groups on the federal response, federalism issues, and the public’s need to know, the project has since expanded to address immigration challenges as well as issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. Bringing together top policymakers, academics, and journalists at the forefront of this critical debate, the project is cochaired by Thomas Kean, former New Jersey governor and 9/11 Commission chair, and Richard Celeste, former U.S. Ambassador and governor of Ohio. The Homeland Security Project is conducted in collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Learn more about the different components of the project and major work produced under each area below. Or, download a complete list of members of the different working group here (PDF).


The project has addressed a number of homeland security challenges at the federal level, including: 1) the creation and implementation of the Department of Homeland Security and issues agencies face in the new organizational structure; 2) challenges related to domestic intelligence-gathering and how agencies such as the FBI and the CIA can better adapt themselves to thwarting domestic terrorism; and 3) trends in legislation and other anti-terror measures introduced since September 11 that threaten to undermine civil liberties, public access to information, and individual privacy.

The working group originally formed on this issue was chaired by former White House chiefs of staff John Podesta and Kenneth Duberstein. Contributors include Stephen Flynn, Ivo Daalder, I.M. “Mac” Destler, and Gregory Treverton.

Browse publications on federal organization issues and civil liberties.


University of Pennsylvania political scientist Donald F. Kettl coordinates the project’s activities in this area, which focus on issues such as whether minimum standards for states and localities should be set with respect to homeland security challenges, what “best practices” have been implemented to date around the country, and how federal, state, and local officials can best coordinate funding, resources, and expertise to ensure preparedness.

Browse publications on homeland security challenges at the state and local level.


The Homeland Security Project has examined a range of issues related to the public’s need to know in the post-September 11 era, including: the decisions journalists and public officials made in handling several major post-September 11 stories, and the intersection of privacy, national security and technological advances in surveillance and information management.

The Century Foundation Working Group on the Public’s Need to Know in a Post-9/11 Era was chaired by John Seigenthaler, head of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. John Stacks, the former executive editor of Time magazine served as executive director. Contributors include Anthony Lewis and Paula Diperna. Browse publications on the public’s need to know and privacy and information issues.


The law-enforcement response to the September 11 attacks, as well as significant changes to immigration laws over the past few years, have spurred a wide-ranging debate on how U.S. immigration policy should be changed to enhance national security while preserving our identity as a “nation of immigrants.” Supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Century Foundation is convening a series of regional seminars for journalists throughout 2004-2005 with the goal of educating reporters, editors, and columnists about the complexities of immigration. Learn about the seminars and read publications on immigration policy at www.immigrationline.org.


With support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this group has studied how states are spending federal bioterrorism funds, analyzed state and local public health preparedness efforts, and recommended strategies for rebuilding the public health infrastructure. While the importance of strengthening the public health infrastructure to respond to such an event has been broadly acknowledged, critical challenges, such as whether the promised flow of federal funds is actually being used to revamp the nation’s eroding public health infrastructure, need to be examined. Leif Wellington Haase, senior program officer and Health Care Fellow at the Foundation is executive director of the project on public health and bioterrorism preparedness. Browse publications on public health and bioterrorism preparedness.

About The Century Foundation

The Century Foundation conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues, including inequality, retirement security, election reform, media studies, homeland security, and international affairs. The foundation produces books, reports, and other publications, convenes task forces, and working groups and operates seven informational Web sites. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan and was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene. Learn more about our mission at The Century Foundation’s Web site, www.tcf.org.