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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Leads 51 Representatives in Urging Acting DHS Secretary Wolf to Expand Outreach to Educational Institutions

February 11, 2020
Press Release
Bipartisan Group Urges Secretary Wolf to Re-engage Higher Education Institutions through HSAAC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC) led a bipartisan group of fifty-one members of Congress in a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf encouraging him to expand the department’s outreach to higher education institutions through the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC). The HSAAC, which was formed in 2012, is a council for Homeland Security officials to engage with higher education representatives on issues around protecting academic research, campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness, and cybersecurity.

HSAAC has not held a single meeting with their council members and partner institutions since July of 2017. The Congressional letter is asking the council to re-engage on this national security priority that encompasses our institutions of higher education.

“It is imperative that our academic communities and homeland security officials have ready access to each other – to increase the long-term national security of the United States, to engage experts across the spectrum, and to support our students,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “The Department of Homeland Security has an existing framework in HSAAC that will help do just this, and in turn protect the American homeland. I commend my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, that joined me today in calling on the Administration to reengage the council.”

“The spirit of curiosity, open inquiry, collaborative study, and shared wisdom is the pride of our educational system. It is that ethos of excellence and ingenuity cultivated at our institutions of higher education which attracts the world’s greatest minds without which many of our great inventions and much of our national progress would not been possible,” said Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC). “It is to protect this great national asset, that we are calling on greater collaboration between our institutions of learning and our institutions of homeland security. The intense pressure from increased global competition and the escalation of hostile foreign intelligence operations exposes the vulnerabilities posed by open research environments to our national economic security. With an estimated loss of as much as $600 billion in intellectual property theft annually, we can only preserve our culture of openness if we can safely prevent its exploitation.”

"I applaud Rep. Krishnamoorthi for leading this bipartisan effort to ensure that universities and the Department of Homeland Security have a forum to share questions and concerns,” said University of Illinois System President, Tim Killeen. “Now more than ever, we need more dialogue and collaboration on issues ranging from international students to cybersecurity."


The letter sent to the DHS Acting Secretary today has the endorsement of the American Council on Education (ACE). 

The letter signed by fifty-one members of Congress, thirteen Republicans, and thirty-eight Democrats, includes the following individuals:

Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ralph Norman, Bill Foster, James P. McGovern, Peter King, Rodney Davis, Seth Moulton, Mike Levin, Anthony G Brown, Charles J. "Chuck" Fleischmann, Joe Wilson, Mark Walker, Jim Cooper, John P. Sarbanes, Juan Vargas, Gregory F. Murphy, M.D., Pramila Jayapal, Jason Crow, Jerry McNerney, Denny Heck, Zoe Lofgren, Andy Harris, M.D., Lauren Underwood, Ro Khanna, Greg Stanton, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jim Langevin, Julia Brownley, Tony Cárdenas, Virginia Foxx, Joe Kennedy, Joe Neguse, Debbie Lesko, David E. Price, Adam Kinzinger, Ted Lieu, Linda T. Sánchez, Elissa Slotkin, William R. Keating, David N. Cicilline, David Schweikert, Karen Bass, Diana DeGette, Scott H. Peters, Judy Chu, Norma J. Torres, Ed Perlmutter, Lori Trahan, CA Dutch Ruppersberger, Ann Kirkpatrick, Ed Case.