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Mr. Wade Townsend

Past Keynote Speaker, National Youth Leadership Forum: Careers in National Security

Department of Homeland Security

"A successful life long journey begins not just with one step, but that one step with energy and enthusiasm. Envision provides the students with the energy, enthusiasm and opportunity. This is why I participate with Envision."


Wade has more than 24 years of federal experience of increasing responsibility in emergency management and security program management areas. He is known as a dynamic, results oriented professional with a successful record developing, implementing and administering new programs in Homeland Security and emergency management operations. Wade serves in the Office of Infrastructure Protection, National Protection and Programs Directorate, United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a technical authority on physical security relating to policies and legislation affecting the security pertaining to the chemical infrastructure. Wade currently serves as the inaugural DHS Academic Chair to the Marine Corps University. Wade, a plank owner in the startup of DHS, began by coordinating with private, local, state and federal agencies in identifying critical infrastructures and systems, identifying, mitigating and correcting vulnerabilities, and preparing for and responding to national emergencies. Prior to his eight years with DHS, Wade started his career as an intern with the Department of Energy (DOE). Wade was with DOE for over 14 years working on a broad range of energy related issues including energy emergency planning, critical infrastructure protection and national security policy and planning.

Wade is a native of the Commonwealth of Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from George Mason University in Public Administration in 1988. He earned a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University in 2012. Wade has collaborated on the following publications and articles: "Vulnerability Assessment Methodologies for Interdependent Systems" (Wiley Handbook of Science and Technology for Homeland Security, Wiley Publications, March 2009) and “Security Vulnerability Assessment Methodology for the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, Second Edition" (National Petroleum Refiners Association and American Petroleum Institute, October, 2004).