Department of Homeland Security and USCG Financial Management System Modernization, Challenges and Opportunities

Nguyentrinh Hoang EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002, its components’ financial systems have been operating under legacy policies and disparate business processes because of outdated technology. As a result, these systems have been mostly non-integrated or non-interoperable with one another, and many components still rely on manual

Fighting Bears and Trolls: An Analysis of Social Media Companies and U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Russian Influence Campaigns during the 2020 U.S. Elections

Elvis Chan EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis uses a systematic framework to evaluate the qualitative effectiveness of the Russian disinformation campaigns and the countermeasures taken by the U.S. government and social media companies to combat the aforementioned campaigns targeting the 2020 U.S. elections.  To develop effective countermeasures for Russian interference activities targeting future American elections, this

Trusting Your Instruments: Leveraging Wearable Devices to Improve Pre-Operational Fatigue Assessment by U.S. Coast Guard Aircrews

Matthew Austin EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This study sought to identify the legal and social considerations affecting the implementation of wearable technology to assess crew fatigue in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and specifically provide recommendations regarding how to incorporate these new technologies into preflight operation risk assessment processes. The study includes a business case analysis, in

Early Recruitment in the Inner City: A Possible Answer to the Fire Service’s Diversity Problem

Rena WHeeler EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Fire departments across the United States struggle to find diverse, qualified applicants, and the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) is no exception. The department’s previous recruitment efforts, specifically its outreach and recruitment program at Arsenal Technical High School (ATHS), have seen limited success. In 2012, the ATHS Fire Rescue Program (FRP), created

A Surge on the Horizon: Improving U.S. Foresight Capacity to Anticipate Mass Migrations

Katie Riesner EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Mass migrations arriving at the southwest border of the United States are increasingly overwhelming the U.S. government’s ability to respond. When these events overwhelm U.S. immigration authorities, they can exacerbate security vulnerabilities. For example, gang members, criminals, terrorists, and foreign fugitives can all exploit the porous southwest border, especially during a

Putting the Public in Public Safety: Nudging a Safer Community

Paul Pazen EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This research paper, Putting the Public in Public Safety: Nudging a Safer Community, builds on existing nudge campaign research to identify and implement a local nudge campaign to assess nudge’s overall efficacy and practicality as an alternative means to increase public safety by decreasing preventable crimes. This thesis starts with a

Law Enforcement Shootings in the United States: The Factors and Potential Solutions

Emmanuel Kwo EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Modern-day policing in the United States is a task undertaken by various agencies across the country. From the federal level down to the local level, more than 800,000 men and women make up the country’s sworn law enforcement agents.[1] When it comes to training these officers, there is no standardized training


Postcards From a Homeland Security Past: Chris Bellavita reflects on the impact of 18 years of CHDS theses on the homeland security field

By Chris Bellavita (Unless otherwise noted, all quoted material in this essay is taken from the thesis being discussed.) I used to think a master’s thesis was essentially about demonstrating an understanding of ideas. Doctoral dissertations were mainly about creating new knowledge. In the past 18 years at CHDS, I learned that a master’s thesis


Anders Strindberg reflects on the impact of Jonathan Gaddy’s CHDS thesis, “An Ontology of Power: Perception and Reality in Conflict.”

By Anders Strindberg Whatever else homeland security involves, at its core we find a multi-tiered, multi-disciplinary network of actors and interests (exemplified by the students and alumni of CHDS) that intersects with other, similarly complex networks of actors and interests. What does strategic planning and strategic action entail in this kind of environment? What does


Kathryn Aten reflects on the impact of Katie Witt’s CHDS thesis, “Why We Serve: Public Service Motivation and what the USCIS Mission Means to its Workforce”

By Kathryn Aten Katie Witt’s thesis informs Homeland Security by explaining how policy changes can influence employee public service motivation.1 Witt traces changes in the USCIS mission and alignment between the organization’s and employees’ public service values—beliefs about which behaviors are desirable and what it means to “do good” for society2—concluding that misalignment may generate