DHS Science and Technology Directorate

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DHS Science and Technology Directorate
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg
Agency overview
Formed 2003
Jurisdiction United States
Headquarters DHS Nebraska Avenue Complex, Washington D.C.
Employees 491 (2012)
Annual budget $0.8 billion (2012)
Agency executive
Parent agency Department of Homeland Security
Website DHS Science and Technology Directorate

The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is a component within the United States Department of Homeland Security. DHS-ST serves as the research and development arm of the Department as it fulfills its national security mission.

The Science and Technology Directorate is led by the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, who is appointed by the President of the United States with confirmation by the United States Senate. William N. Bryan is the acting Under Secretary.


The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&Ts) mission is to improve homeland security by working with the other operating components of the United States Department of Homeland Security, as well as State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency agencies to provide state-of-the-art technology and solutions that help them achieve their missions.

The Science and Technology Directorate has four major program activities:

  • Acquisition and Operations Support - Provides expert assistance to entities across the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) to ensure that the transition, acquisition, and deployment of technologies, information, and procedures improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operational capabilities across the HSE mission. The five areas within AOS are: Operations Research and Analysis; SAFETY Act; Standards; Technology Transition Support; and Testing and Evaluation.
  • Laboratory Facilities - Provides the Nation with a coordinated, enduring core of productive science, technology and engineering laboratories; organizations and institutions, which can provide the knowledge and technology required to secure our preserve national security. ONL executes two programs: Construction and Laboratory Operations.
  • Research, Development, and Innovation - Provides state-of-the-art technology and solutions to meet the needs of the operational components of the Department of Homeland Security and other first emergency agencies. Includes customer-focused and output-oriented RDT&E programs that balance risk, cost, impact, and time to delivery. The six areas within RD&I include: APEX Research and Development; Border Security; Chemical, Biological, and Explosive Defense; Counterterrorism; Cyber Security; and Disaster Resilience. This includes the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.
  • University Programs - Supports critical homeland security-related research and education at U.S. colleges and universities to address high-priority, DHS-related issues and to enhance homeland security capabilities over the long term. The three areas within University Programs are: Centers of Excellence, Education Programs, and Minority Serving Institutions.


S&T is led by the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology. The current Under Secretary is Reginald Brothers, who was appointed by President Barack Obama on April 7, 2014.

The Under Secretary is assisted in the management of the Directorate by a Deputy Under Secretary and several Directors. The Science and Technology Directorate is organized into four groups which work together to ensure each aspect of the Directorate's work is given the appropriate amount of emphasis.

Each of the primary divisions has a different set of missions and goals:

  • The Border and Maritime Security Division develops and transitions tools and technologies that improve the security of the United States' borders and waterways, without impeding the flow of commerce and travelers.
  • The Chemical and Biological Division works to increase the United States' preparedness against chemical and biological threats through improved threat awareness, advanced surveillance and detection, and protective countermeasures.
  • The Command, Control, and Interoperability Division develops interoperable communication standards and protocols for emergency responders, cyber security tools for protecting the integrity of the Internet, and automated capabilities to recognize and analyze potential threats.
  • The Explosives Division develops the technical capabilities to detect, interdict, and lessen the impacts of non-nuclear explosives used in terrorist attacks against mass transit, civil aviation, and critical infrastructure.
  • The Human Factors Division applies the social and behavioral sciences to improve detection, analysis, and understanding and response to homeland security threats.
  • The Infrastructure and Geophysical Division focuses on identifying and mitigating the vulnerabilities of the 17 critical infrastructure and key assets that keep the United States' society and economy functioning.


DHS Science and Technology Budget, FY11-13 ($ in thousands) [1]
Line Item FY11 Actual FY12 Actual FY13 Request
Management and Administration 140,918 135,000 138,008
Acquisition and Operations Support 47,080 54,154 47,984
Laboratory Facilities 140,000 176,500 127,432
Research, Development, and Innovation 459,690 265,783 478,048
University Programs 39,890 36,563 40,000
Total Budget 827,578 668,000 831,472

Initiatives and Programs[edit]

The Under Secretary for Homeland Security Science and Technology currently administers a number of publicly available programs to promote independent development of homeland security technologies.

SAFECOM is the Federal umbrella program designed to foster interoperability among the Nation’s public safety practitioners, so that they may communicate across disciplines and jurisdictions during an emergency.

SAFETY Act provides liability protections that make it feasible for sellers of qualified antiterrorism technologies to introduce homeland security solutions to the marketplace

Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) is a five-year, $10 million program to promote the creation and use of open security and open-source software in the United States government and military.[2] In October 2011, the directorate won the Open Source for America 2011 Government Deployment Open Source Award for the program.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget Budget in Brief, DHS, pg 169" (PDF). Department of Homeland Security. 2012. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  2. ^ Hsu, Jeremy (2011-05-26). "U.S. Considers Open-Source Software for Cybersecurity". MSNBC. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  3. ^ Rockwell, Mark (2011-10-18). "DHS technology directorate wins awards for cyber security efforts". Government Security News. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 

External links[edit]