Wilson Center Experts
The Honorable Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge is president and CEO of Ridge Global, an international security and risk management firm headquartered in Washington, DC. Ridge served as the nation’s first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from October 2001 through December 2002 and first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from January 2003 through January 2005. During his tenure at DHS, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000-plus employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Previously, he was governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1995 through October 2001 and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 through 1995. A Vietnam combat veteran, Secretary Ridge works with multiples organizations to assist our nation’s veterans, serves as chairman of the National Organization on Disability and co-chairs the Flight 93 National Memorial Fundraising Campaign. He also serves on public and private boards, including the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University and J.D. from the Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law.