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Immediate Release

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and DoD Senior Leaders Attend 27th Council of Governors Plenary Meeting

Attributable to Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon: 
On Wednesday, July 12, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks delivered opening remarks via video teleconference at the 27th Council of Governors plenary meeting being held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

In the session, she appeared alongside the Council's Co-Chair, Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota; Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas; Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly; White House Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall; and White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Tom Perez.
The Deputy Secretary emphasized the importance of on-time appropriations for the continued implementation of the U.S. National Defense Strategy and to avoid any potential government shutdown.

She also highlighted the Department’s ongoing work to strengthen and support U.S. homeland defense and other civil authorities’ missions, which includes responses to natural and man-made disasters, support of law enforcement agencies, and other domestic issues.  

She also spoke about the 50th anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force, and asked state leaders to encourage their citizens to consider pursuing public service, which is critical to our national defense. 

The 27th plenary meeting of the Council is focusing on the progress made pursuing priority issues concerning cybersecurity; emergency management and disaster response policy reform; workforce matters; and military matters, such as receiving an update on the status of the “Military Childcare in Your Neighborhood Plus” program and its expansion into additional states.  
Deputy Secretary Hicks was joined by other senior DoD leaders during the plenary meeting, including Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Mike McCord, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Ashish S. Vazirani, North American Aerospace Defense Command-U.S. Northern Command Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck, Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo, and Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of the Air Force Kristyn Jones.

Additional representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Guard Bureau, Air National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard also attended.
Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs Melissa Dalton serves as Executive Director of the Council.
Required by law and established in 2010 by executive order, the Council of Governors is a bipartisan council of 10 state governors appointed by the President to exchange views, information, or advice with federal officials on homeland defense, the National Guard, civil support, and other matters of mutual interest to protect our nation and its people and property. 
Members of the Council of Governors include: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Co-Chair; Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Co-Chair; Delaware Governor John Carney; Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb; Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards; Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer; New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham; Utah Governor Spencer Cox; Vermont Governor Phil Scott; and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.
Deputy Secretary Hicks last addressed the Governors Plenary in February, 2023.