InfraGard is an FBI program with public/private sector organizations which has the stated objectives of:
Historically, InfraGard was intended to be a means for protecting the Information Technology industry. However, it has evolved to include all sectors of the infrastructure. One of the most significant changes in the InfraGard program is the creation of Sector Chief (SC) Representatives to serve as a conduit for the membership to better serve the many sectors of the infrastructure. These individuals will be highly respected professionals in their respective fields and will act as liaison for the members within their sectors. The SC positions were created to facilitate more information sharing and input from/to the members.
The InfraGard Sector Chief plan is a method by which the federal agencies through the FBI may create an open dialogue and working relationship with the private sectors of the national infrastructures. The individual chapter leadership is comprised of an Executive Committee that includes the FBI Coordinator and elected board members and/or officers (e.g., President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer). Additionally, the board should also have a Membership Coordinator who is responsible for the coordination of the members into their respective sectors.
The membership is organized by sectors with Sector Chiefs who act as liaison between the Executive Committee and the membership that falls under their portion of the infrastructure. These sectors are aligned with those that have been set forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, additional sectors may be created as sub-sectors of the 16 primary sectors to better serve the community of that InfraGard chapter.
The Sector Chiefs meet regularly. If an issue arises which affects a particular sector, that SC would be responsible for bringing it to the attention of his/her members and bringing concerns of those members to the executive committee (i.e., requests for specific topics for presentations, etc.).
The Sector Chief initiative begins with the evaluation of the community in which that particular InfraGard chapter serves. If the chapter is well established, an evaluation of the existing membership may be a starting point for potential SC candidates. The next option is to poll the membership for suggestions on potential SC candidates whom they may know within their sectors.
The following are characteristics of suitable candidates:
Once candidates are identified, a member of the executive board should approach that individual and extend an invitation to attend a Sector Chief meeting at which time the candidate may decide if he/she is interested in becoming the SC for that infrastructure or can make a recommendation on someone who may be more qualified. As these positions are filled, the search for additional candidates to fill the vacant SC positions becomes easier with the added assistance and expertise of the new SCs who contribute greater knowledge of the community and its leaders.
Regular Sector Chief meetings are held to maintain a continuing dialogue amongst the SCs (horizontal communications) and between them and the FBI Coordinator/Executive Committee (vertical communications). These meetings consist of FBI announcements of current events in the area, upcoming events, and possible threat identifiers. The SCs individually contribute recent events within their sectors that they have experienced and offer input from the members of their sectors. Ideas for future trainings, speakers and exercises are discussed. Following the SC meetings, a designated member of the Executive Committee will assimilate and disseminate the meeting minutes which include contact information for all in attendance and action items with assigned responsible party.
A designated member of the Executive Committee shall distribute unclassified DHS IA/IP reports and any other relevant reports or data to the SCs who will disseminate them to their respective sectors as they deem appropriate. This method streamlines information dissemination while reducing the unwieldy quantities of unnecessary and often unread e-mail and assures that only the pertinent information is transmitted and more likely heeded.
The SCs are expected to actively engage their members through e-mail and/or phone contact. The Membership Coordinator shall assist in the development of sector rosters by forwarding names and contact information for members to the appropriate SC. In the same manner, as an SC identifies potential new members for InfraGard, he/she forwards that person’s information to the Membership Coordinator and FBI Coordinator. The SCs are to facilitate communications among their sector members via distribution lists through which they keep members informed of upcoming meetings, events, and trainings; communicate threat information from the FBI Coordinator to their members; and, receive concerns, requests for training, and threat data from their members to transfer to the FBI and the other SCs.
As the chapter develops and the individual sectors develop into their own entities, individualized trainings may be formulated to fulfill requirements of specific sectors that may not pertain to other sectors. These will be created in cooperation with the SC of that particular sector.
The position of Special Advisor is given to members of the community who are not necessarily in the position to be a Sector Chief but have expertise in their particular fields to assist in trainings, preparing exercises, and guiding the chapter. These individuals are invited to all SC meetings and are active participants in the table top exercise planning and implementation.
The Special Advisors should, at a minimum, include the DHS Protective Security Advisor (PSA), Homeland Security Representative for the state and the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) Coordinator from the United States Attorney’s Office. Each of these entities plays key roles in the information exchange critical to the success of the InfraGard program which is basically the information exchange between the private sector and the government as it relates to infrastructure protection.
If you are interested in learning more about serving as an InfraGard Arkansas Sector Chief, please let us know using the form below.