Aleea Perry, a faculty member in IUP’s Department of Political Science and a PhD in public
administration, is working with former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
on a book about the development of the Department of Homeland Security.
Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom
Ridge became the first assistant to the president for Homeland Security
and, on January 24, 2003, became the first secretary of the US
Department of Homeland Security.
The working title for
the book is Creation in Crisis: The Development of the Department of
Homeland Security. The book will address the issue of how the disparate
agencies, departments, and components of what would soon become the
third largest federal agency were considered, discussed, combined, and
Perry and members of Governor Ridge’s staff
are actively working to solicit interviews for the book, which also is
designed to offer a real-life example of what actually happens when an
agency is created to address immediate issues of homeland security from
separate governmental components with an initial focus on a
border-centric mission, Perry said.
Mark Holman, a member of IUP’s Council of Trustees and an IUP Department
of Political Science alumnus and partner with Governor Ridge at the
Ridge Policy Group, was essential to the book coming to fruition, Perry
said. Holman served as deputy assistant to the president in the White
House Office of Homeland Security.
document federal agency organizational history are rare, and I was not
willing to miss out on this part of history,” Perry said. “It is kismet
that my research interests are organizational development, and IUP has a
real-time connection to the creation of the third-largest federal
IUP undergraduate and graduate students will
work with Perry as research assistants to ensure that the book project
has lasting academic value to current IUP students and their future
“There are many textbooks written about the
functions of the Department of Homeland Security, but none detailing the
creation, development, and continued growth of the agency,” Perry said.
“This book is intended to engage academic audiences in the
organizational development of the agency, as well as the lessons learned
for future reorganizations of federal functions.”
part of this work, Perry coordinated a meeting of 10 IUP students with
Governor Ridge and his staff in October 2018, as part of an annual
Department of Political Science trip to Washington, DC hosted by the
Ridge Policy Group.
Governor Ridge shared insight into
his time as governor of Pennsylvania, as well as his role in the
Department of Homeland Security. Students were able to talk one-on-one
with Governor Ridge and document their visit with a photograph.
Interviews will be conducted through 2019, with an estimated book completion date of fall 2020.
Perry joined the IUP faculty in 2016. She has a PhD in public
administration with concentrations in public management and financial
management from the University of Illinois–Chicago. Prior to her work at
IUP, she was a grant writer and administrator for cities, towns,
counties, nonprofits, and community colleges. She has also worked as a
community development specialist for the State of Indiana and as a
senior project manager for the City of Indianapolis.
with information about the creation of the Department of Homeland
Security and who are willing to be interviewed to share that
information should contact Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo information: Aleea Perry took a group of IUP students to meet with
former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and members of the Ridge Policy
Group, including IUP Council of Trustees member Mark Holman.