In academia, the private sector, government and the media, Juliette Kayyem is a national leader in homeland security and crisis management. She is currently Robert and Renee Belfer Professor and Chair of the Faculty of Homeland Security and Global Health and Security Projects at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Professor Kayyem also works as a national security analyst for CNN, where she has been described as the go-to person in the event of a catastrophe. She is a regular contributor to The Atlantic and has a weekly segment on security on NPR's WGBH in Boston. Her most recent book, The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters, was described in a New Yorker profile as an "engaging and urgent project to rethink our approach to disaster preparedness and response".

At the government level, she most recently served as President Obama's Under Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. Previously, she was Homeland Security Advisor to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a role that included oversight of the National Guard. She is the recipient of numerous government awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard's highest medal awarded to a civilian. She has also served on the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Advisory Committee, where she co-authored its strategic assessment of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities and cybersecurity.

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