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Meridian Institute

National Critical Infrastructure Sector Coordination: Maritime Mode of the Transportation Sector

Related: Global Stability and Security, Sustainability and Resilience

Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) have been established under the guidance of the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) as a way to reinforce a business sector’s resilience against terrorist attacks and other threats to the nation’s infrastructure. SCCs are self-organized by a sector’s owners and operators to facilitate communications and priority setting and to serve as a point of contact with the government on security and critical infrastructure protection. Government Coordinating Councils (GCCs) are the government counterpart entity comprising the agencies most involved with a particular sector. Meridian Institute provided process design and facilitation services to a number of SCCs as they got organized and began their work.

For the Maritime mode of the Transportation sector, Meridian staff facilitated meetings of representatives from the US Coast Guard, the DHS’s Infrastructure Protection Directorate, port authority officials, and other maritime private-sector interests from September 2004 through early 2005. At that time, given Congressional attention to maritime security and the number of maritime security advisory bodies formed in response to Congressional and Coast Guard concern, sector representatives were uncertain as to whether a Maritime Sector Coordinating Council (MSCC) was needed.

In 2006, with the formation of a Maritime GCC and the maturation of SCC formation across the 17 federally designated critical infrastructure sectors, Maritime sector representatives again considered an MSCC. Meridian worked with sector representatives to consider how an MSCC might be structured and governed and assisted the sector in articulating an agenda for future discussions with the GCC. Ultimately, an MSCC became operational in August 2007, at which time Meridian transferred facilitation tasks to a designated government contractor.


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