Twenty years ago last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created in response to the 9/11 attacks.
Stephen E. Flynn, director of Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute, was there from day one. A member of the Hart-Rudman Commission, which both informed and foretold the creation of the federal department, Flynn had been thinking about national security and the threats facing the U.S. for decades—well before the infamous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
News@Northeastern recently sat down to chat with Flynn, who criticized the department in its early years for its narrow focus on terrorism. He says there’s still a lot of work to do. His comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.