Current & Former Homeland Security Secretaries Jeh Johnson and Tom Ridge to Speak at The Atlantic’s “Fifteen Years Later: Are We Any Safer?”

Rep. Michael McCaul, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, Former Senator Joe Lieberman, Former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rodgers, ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg among speakers to join event on September 8th in D.C.

Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2016)—Ahead of the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and former secretary Tom Ridge, the department’s first head, will be interviewed together at The Atlantic’s “Fifteen Years Later: Are We Any Safer?” Ridge and Johnson are among the many national security experts, journalists, policy makers, advocates, and key players in the 9/11 response slated to join The Atlantic to assess the state of the nation’s homeland security.  The event will run from 8AM-12PM on Thursday, 9/8, in The Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. and is open to press.

Across the morning, The Atlantic will focus on the story of the September 11th response and how America has changed in the decade and a half since. Where has the most progress been made, and in what areas are we still most vulnerable? Are we prepared to handle the threat of lone wolves, cyberattacks, and bioterrorism?

Additional speakers include:

  • One-on-one interviews with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin

  • Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rodgers on security oversight from Congress and the White House.

  • Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, and Fordham Law professor Karen Greenberg on civil liberties and security.

  • Matthew Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS, on the new cyber threat.

  • Andrew Bieniawski, of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, on the threat of dirty bombs.

  • The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Washington Post’s Joby Warrick, and Lorenzo Vidino, Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, on Islamic extremism and the fight against ISIS.

A full roster of speakers and a detailed agenda will be released in the coming week.

This event is in conjunction with The Atlantic’s September magazine cover story, “Are We Any Safer?” by Steven Brill, which takes stock of the security response of “the September 12 era.” The yearlong investigation examines the initial shock following the "failure to connect the dots," as well as the creation of an entirely new security apparatus—telling the story of extraordinary progress and extravagant failures. Brill will also join this event.

To RSVP for the event, respond directly to this email or email The Atlantic’s Sydney Simon (

Booz Allen Hamilton is the underwriter of “Fifteen Years Later: Are We Any Safer?”