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CMU Partners with DHS to Develop Solutions for Homeland Security Challenges


Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy announced today a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute for a new entrepreneurship program that will leverage student teams to work on national security challenges facing DHS.

The entrepreneurship education program, “Hacking for Homeland Security (H4HS),”  is delivered in partnership with the innovation company BMNT Inc., and the Common Mission Project (CMP).

Through H4HS, students will work on a real-world CISA challenge. Over the course of the academic semester, students will conduct interviews and learn about the challenge, apply the Lean LaunchPad method, and propose solutions to the challenge.

“We are proud to be a part of this collaboration and look forward to many years of working together,” said Randy Trzeciak, Director of the Master of Science in Information Security Policy & Management Program at Heinz College. “This partnership will provide valuable experience to our students while directly helping to secure critical infrastructure in the United States.”

H4HS will provide students with a deeper understanding of CISA and real-world problem-solving through applied and experiential education.

"The class engages students on a range of CISA mission challenges in cybersecurity and policy — the two problems are countering disinformation on COVID and a small-medium business information sharing challenge," said Conor McClintock, Deputy Chief of CISA’s Innovation Hub.

The H4HS course at Heinz College debuted during the Spring 2021 semester.

The program is modeled on Hacking for Defense® (H4D) — a national academic course helping make the world a safer place. H4D is taught at 44 universities across the United States. It represents a new platform for national service — teaching university students how to use modern entrepreneurial tools and techniques to solve critical national security and intelligence community problems at startup speed. 

“Today’s problems are increasingly complex, cut across sectors, and evolve at a rapid pace. Solving them requires an entrepreneurial, data-based problem-solving approach that operates at the speed of a startup. H4HS provides such a problem-solving approach and is part of CMP’s growing global effort to change the way we solve problems in the 21st century,” said Alex Gallo, Executive Director of the Common Mission Project. 

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About Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management. This unique colocation, combined with its expertise in analytics, sets Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the number-one academic program for Analytics Education. For more information, please visit www.heinz.cmu.edu.

About BMNT, Inc.

BMNT is an internationally recognized innovation consultancy and early-stage tech accelerator that is changing the future of public service innovation. Founded in Silicon Valley, BMNT has offices in Palo Alto, Washington DC, Austin, London, and Canberra. Visit www.bmnt.com

About the Common Mission Project

The Common Mission Project (CMP) educates, connects, inspires and supports mission-driven entrepreneurs around the globe. CMP is the non-profit partner of BMNT, Inc. Visit www.commonmission.us/