Innovating America: Facing Tragedy: The Wake of 9/11 and the Birth of the First Department of Homeland Security

In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans were hit with a slew of emotions to grapple with.

Fear. Grief. Anger. However, one of the scariest things felt by those in the U.S. who witnessed the horrific attacks was a sense of uncertainty. Who did this? Where do we go from here? Moreover, how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In this episode, we sit down with former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge to discuss these exact questions. The same ones he had circling in his mind as he boarded a helicopter from Erie, Pennsylvania to the state capital—starting him on a path he never expected.

Our conversation with Governor Ridge touches on his life as a family man and political leader, as well as the enormous responsibility he was entrusted with when then-President George W. Bush appointed him the very first Security of Homeland Security.

From the way that Governor Ridge learned America was under attack on 9/11 to how he built the first government department whose mission it was to protect the homeland, this episode gives an in-depth look into how the national security landscape has changed over the last several decades.

Take a listen to hear from this prolific guest, and to get an insight into the future of our country’s security regime.

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