Center for American Progress

: A Market-Based Approach to Private Sector Security
Past Event

A Market-Based Approach to Private Sector Security

2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT

New Strategies to Protect America: A Market-Based Approach to Private Sector Security

Robert Housman
, Founder and Principal, The Housman Group
Timothy C. Olson, Advisor, Chesapeake Green Fuels

Featured Speakers:
Jamie Gorelick
, Member of the 9/11 Commision, and Partner, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr
James Doty, Partner, Baker Botts
Joe Whitley, former General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security

Moderated by:
Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley
, Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security, Center for American Progress

The private sector plays a critical role in our homeland security, and better use of market forces can improve security in this overlooked area. This conclusion was reached by a new report released today at a panel discussion hosted by the Center for American Progress.

Robert Housman, co-author with Timothy Olson, presented the report’s conclusions. Joining him on the panel were several distinguished experts, including Jamie Gorelick, member of the 9/11 Commission; Joe Whitley, former General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security; and Joanne Rutkowski, former Assistant Director of the Division of Investment Management at the SEC. Center for American Progress Senior Fellow P.J. Crowley moderated.

Crowley framed the discussion of this important, but rarely discussed, homeland security issue. Pointing out that 85 percent of U.S. infrastructure is in private hands, he said that  “the private sector has arguably adapted least to new security requirements.” Supporting the conclusions of the report, Crowley believes that there is an opportunity for “creating better market forces to encourage better security in the private sector.”

Housman and Olson focused specifically on the use of SEC disclosure rules in creating incentives for better security. “The rules already require disclosure,” Housman said, on material issues for investors. Yet, he said, the “application to homeland security matters is little understood and less followed.” The report surveyed a wide range of companies and found that many do not adequately address in disclosure their vulnerabilities, risks, and strategies in terms of terrorism.

Better disclosure in how companies are affected by homeland security, the authors believe, will give investors more informed choices and bring market incentives to robust security programs. Housman emphasized the importance of balancing disclosure with security concerns. “Disclosure should be strategic,” he said, “not tactical.” Rutkowski added that “the fact that disclosure may be required will not give terrorists a road map.”

Whitley, agreeing that better market forces could be helpful, also called for “a more proactive regime to look at different sectors of our economy.” All the panelists agreed that a close association between government and industry groups would provide the best outcomes for private sector homeland security. “Getting the private sector involved is critical to making the country safer,” said Gorelick, but “government actually needs to play a role in bringing industry groups together.” 

Effective security is important, but business can not be over-regulating either. “Industry could use help,” Gorelick said, “as long as its not intrusive.” According to Whitley, we should “give industry some broad parameters within which to operate,” of which disclosure would be a part. The challenge, he said, is “how can we preserve the economic engine that drives America.”

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Lunch served at 12 noon
Program: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.         
Admission is free.

Center for American Progress
1333 H Street N.W., 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Maps and Directions. 


Jamie Gorelick’s career has spanned the legal, policy and corporate landscape and has become one of Washington’s best-known litigators. She was one of the longest serving Deputy Attorneys General of the United States, the second highest position in the Department of Justice, where she supervised all of the litigation and law enforcement divisions of the Department, including all of the United States Attorneys Offices. Prior to joining the DOJ, Gorelick served as General Counsel at the Department of Defense. There, she structured the Department’s involvement in the consolidation of the defense industry in the 1990s, and was awarded the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Service Medal for her outstanding service to the Department. Earlier in her career, she also served as Vice Chair of the Task Force on the Audit, Inspection and Investigation Components of the Department of Defense. Ms. Gorelick also served on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”). Ms. Gorelick also was a member of the CIA’s National Security Advisory Panel and previously served on President Bush’s Review of Intelligence Committee and President Clinton’s Advisory Committee to the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (which she co-chaired with Senator Sam Nunn), among many others.

James Doty represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission in a full range of regulatory, enforcement, and compliance matters. He counsels boards of directors and audit committees on problems arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related issues. His clients include publicly traded corporations, as well as investment banking and securities firms both in the United States and in other countries. From May 1990 through 1992, Mr. Doty served as the general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His responsibilities included advising the Commission and its staff with respect to questions of law, the conduct of administrative proceedings, the preparation of Commission comments to Congress on pending legislation, and the drafting of legislative proposals sponsored by the Commission. Mr. Doty has been active in the Commission’s International Institute for Securities Market Development and the technical assistance activities of the American Bar Association. In connection with these activities, he has worked closely with securities regulatory authorities in Eastern Europe, China, and Mexico and other Latin American countries. Mr. Doty has been named by the Legal Times of Washington as one of the D.C. area’s “Top Ten” securities lawyers, and by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s best SEC lawyers.

Robert Housman is founder of and principal in The Housman Group. He is also Director of Legal and Regulatory Compliance for Resilient Corporation. He is a contributing author of the Homeland Security Law Handbook (Government Institutes 1993). From 1996 to 2001, he served as Assistant Director of Strategic Planning in the White House Drug Czar’s Office. He has taught international law for American University’s Law School and national security for Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

Timothy C. Olson currently serves as an advisor to Chesapeake Green Fuels. Prior to that he worked for the Investigation Group International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Olson is a graduate of Vermont Law School and Connecticut College.

Joe Whitley served as the first General Counsel to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the highest ranking legal official in the department. At DHS he oversaw approximately 1,500 lawyers and 400 support staff from numerous agencies, including the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, Border and Transportation Security, the Transportation Security Administration, Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, and Emergency Preparedness and Response (FEMA). Previously he served as the Acting Associate Attorney General, the third-ranking position in the Department of Justice, in the George H.W. Bush administration. He was appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, respectively, to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Middle and Northern Federal Districts of Georgia. At the time of his appointment he was one of the youngest persons ever to be appointed U.S. Attorney and the only person to ever serve as a Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney for two separate jurisdictions. Throughout his career Joe served under five United States Attorneys General. He received his J.D. and his undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia.

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is a Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In all, Crowley was a spokesman for the United States government and United States military for 28 years, 11 of those years at the Pentagon and three at the White House. He served for 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. Prior to joining American Progress, he served as a national spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, focusing on strategic industry issues that included the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy and the effect of asbestos litigation on the broader economy. A native of Massachusetts, P.J. is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.