Kathryn Coulter Mitchell was appointed the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology (S&T) on May 5, 2021. As the science advisor to the Homeland Security Secretary, Ms. Coulter Mitchell heads the research, development, innovation and testing and evaluation activities in support of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) operational Components and first responders across the nation.
The Science and Technology Directorate is responsible for identifying operational gaps, conceptualizing art-of-the-possible solutions, and delivering operational results that improve the security and resilience of the nation.
In her former role as the Chief of Staff, Ms. Coulter Mitchell oversaw the operational and organizational needs of the $1 billion, 500-career-employee Directorate. A member of the Senior Executive Service, she was responsible for strategy, policy, organizational development, communications, and planning. At S&T, Ms. Coulter Mitchell guided the creation of a DHS strategic vision and roadmap for research and development (R&D), the reestablishment of Integrated Product Teams to prioritize and manage DHS R&D investments, and the crafting of strategies for organizational effectiveness. Ms. Mitchell previously served S&T as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Communications Advisor for the Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary.
Ms. Coulter Mitchell came to DHS after a 15-year career in the private sector and on Capitol Hill. In industry, she provided organizational strategy and communications support to S&T and the Federal Emergency Management Agency where she authored the communications strategy for the multi-million dollar, multi-agency rollout of Presidential Policy Directive 8. Prior to supporting the government, Ms. Coulter Mitchell was a senior-level public affairs specialist at a top Washington, D.C. public relations firm. She also served as the Director of Policy for an association of over 350 federal contracting companies. Before joining industry, Ms. Coulter Mitchell spent five years on Capitol Hill leading legislative efforts in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Ms. Coulter Mitchell holds a Master of Arts in Communications from Johns Hopkins University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a professional certification in Executive Coaching from the University of Cambridge, U.K.