Director, Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, Science and Technology Directorate
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
LaTasha R. Thompson assumed the role of director of the Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate in October 2021. OSAI provides incentives for the development and deployment of antiterrorism technologies by creating systems of risk and litigation management to ensure that the threat of liability does not deter potential manufacturers or sellers of effective antiterrorism technologies from developing and commercializing technologies that could save lives.
Dr. Thompson joined the S&T Directorate in 2019 as the Program Support Office (PSO) director and has been recognized for her strategic vision in establishing the first S&T PSO to provide rigor, discipline and standardization to the management of research and development programs and projects across the Directorate. Prior to serving as OSAI director, she was the Office of Enterprise Services chief operating officer, responsible for operational oversight and technical leadership of all S&T administrative and management product lines. Thompson has nearly two decades of experience applying systems engineering, program management and change management to product development, operations management and service delivery across multiple disciplines in support of the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice and Coast Guard.
Thompson has been the recipient of several significant awards, including recognition in S&T’s African American History Month Spotlight to showcase her role in improving operational efficiencies and customer service with stakeholders while strengthening S&T’s engagements with DHS HQ partners. Thompson began her education with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Norfolk State University and went on to earn a master’s degree in systems engineering from George Mason University and a doctorate in mathematics education from Morgan State University.
Thompson is a published science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researcher. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities in Maryland and Virginia, teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level mathematics and quantitative analysis courses. In her spare time, she engages with various youth programs to share the possibilities in STEM careers and the ways STEM knowledge improves the whole community.
Comparison of Standards and Certifications for Reduction of Terrorism Risk to Critical Infrastructure
The U.S. government uses a wide array of standards and best practices which vary widely from agency to agency and from installation to installation and originating from different agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies. This session will focus on the standards and best practices security measures recommended or that are overseen by DHS and approved directly or indirectly at individual locations by the Office of SAFETY Act Implementation.