Dan Cotter
US Department of Homeland Security

Office of Science and Engineering (A) Science and Technology Directorate

Dan Cotter

2022 2022 Speaker | Circle Falling Walls Circle

Dan Cotter has been the Principal Director of the Office of Science and Engineering (OSE) in the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since September 2018. He is currently serving as the “Acting” OSE Executive Director. In this role, he leads the advancement of science and technology to support the homeland security mission. His responsibilities include overseeing seven technology centers, and providing requirements generation, standards, systems engineering, test and evaluation, technology scouting and transition planning support to DHS research and acquisition programs.
Dan joined the S&T Directorate in 2012 and served as the First Responders Group lead. In this position he led national and international programs for first responder advanced personal protective equipment, communications interoperability, information sharing, and disaster resiliency.
Prior to joining S&T he served as the DHS Chief Technology Officer from 2007 – 2012 and as the DHS Geospatial Management Officer from 2005 – 2007. As a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1983 – 1995, Dan developed and led programs applying emerging technologies to address a wide range of scientific, engineering and technical challenges faced by the National Flood Insurance Program and for disaster mitigation, response and recovery. He has prior Federal experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey and over a decade of leadership experience in the private sector.
In 2018 he received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. Among other recognition, Dan is also a recipient of the FEMA Director’s Distinguished Service Award. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. He has significant experience in policy formulation, working on and leading high-level intergovernmental committees, including at the White House level, and collaboration with Congress, including providing hearing testimony.
Dan holds a M.B.A. from Texas A&M University, M.S. in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences from George Mason University, a B.S in Hydrology from the University of Arizona and an Associate of Applied Sciences in Computer Information Systems from Northern Virginia Community College. He completed the University of Maryland Global Campus Graduate Executive Certificate for Chief Information Officers in 2012 and the Stanford University Customer Focused Innovation program in 2019.


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