Ms. Kayyem was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Building Resiliency in an Age of Terrorism.
Juliette Kayyem has served as a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts in government, the academy, as well as the private sector and journalism.
Kayyem is founder of one of the few female-owned security businesses and provides strategic advice to a range of companies in technology, risk management, mega-event planning and venture capital. As a faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she teaches new leaders in emergency management and national security and has authored several books on homeland security.
Kayyem has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. Most recently, she was President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response, as well as organizing major policy efforts in immigration reform and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor where she guided regional planning, the state’s first interoperability plan, and oversaw the National Guard. She has also served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She is the recipient of many government honors, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard’s highest medal awarded to a civilian.
A journalist and commentator, she has a weekly segment on Boston’s public radio station WGBH. For nearly eight days straight, she provided non-stop analysis during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings for CNN, where she continues to serve as a security analyst. In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for her hard-charging editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.
She is a board member of Mass Inc., the Boston 2024 Olympic Committee, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. Described as a “rising star” of the Democratic party, in 2014 Kayyem was a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and the mother of three children, she is married to First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron. Her memoir –The Education of a Security Mom – will be published by Simon and Shuster in 2015.