Carissa VanderMey serves as the Sr. Advisor for Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the scientific, technical, and engineering expertise for DHS, S&T provides advice to the Secretary, DHS components, first responders, and members of the Homeland Security Enterprise. In addition, S&T works across the Homeland Security Enterprise to identify operational gaps, identify solutions, and delivers operational results to improve the security and resilience of the nation.
As the Sr. Advisor, Ms. VanderMey works with the executive leadership team to address the operational and programmatic needs across Department. In addition, Ms. VanderMey serves as the Principle Director to PLCY. In her role as Principle Director, she is focused on Emerging Threats to include those facing the nation from Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CUAS). As such, she was asked to oversee the Department’s implementation of their CUAS authorities under the “Emerging Threat Act of 2018” and serves as the Chair for the Department’s CUAS Executive Steering Committee.
Ms. VanderMey has more than 20 years’ of experience as a government employee and a national laboratory employee. She was most recently a Program Manager at Sandia National Laboratory, supporting the Department of Energy (DOE). As a program manager, she led several efforts related to energy security and resiliency including the assessment and development of a conceptual design for former naval base in Kalaeloa, HI. In this role, she also led several infrastructure analysis projects including the development of a cyber security white paper for NNSA’s National Nuclear Deterrence program.
Before joining Sandia, Ms. VanderMey held the position of Director of Security and Risk Management in DOE’s Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Division. Ms. VanderMey supported the mission of enhancing the security (physical/cyber) and reliability of the energy infrastructure by leveraging DOE’s energy infrastructure security expertise; working with strategic international and domestic partners and other government agencies to improve the reliability, survivability and resiliency of energy infrastructure. Throughout her ten years at the department, Ms. VanderMey was a member of the Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection steering group and DOE’s lead representative in support of the National Security Council’s goal to enhance global energy security. Additionally, she severed as a key member of the White House Committee for Maritime Transportation Security and was instrumental in helping the U.S. government develop the National Maritime Transportation Security Strategic Plan.
Prior to her time the federal government, Ms. VanderMey served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1998, she graduated from Officer Candidate School and was stationed in West Virginia where she was the Assistant Chief of Port Operations and the Chief of the Contingency Planning Department. She qualified and served as a facility/vessel inspector, and pollution and disaster responder. Following her tour of duty in West Virginia, Ms. VanderMey was stationed in New York City where she held the position of Assistant Senior Investigating Officer (ASIO). As ASIO, she led the unit’s environmental and disaster response efforts, and directed all marine casualty investigations. Ms. VanderMey finished her Coast Guard career in Yorktown, VA where she was a certified lead instructor. In this capacity, Ms. VanderMey provided instruction and curriculum development in Contingency Planning, Exercise Development, Port Security, Command and Control as well as NIMS/ICS for international military officers and senior level staff from the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, and DoD.
Ms. VanderMey holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Washington State University.