Frances F. Townsend

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Frances Fragos Townsend, who has served as Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush since May 2004, resigned her position November 19, 2007.[1]

Townsend, who was appointed by President Bush on May 28, 2004, also chaired the Homeland Security Council and reported to "the President on United States Homeland Security policy and Combating Terrorism matters."[2]

Townsend, as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT), by virtue of the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive signed May 9, 2007, by President Bush, is also National Continuity Coordinator.[3]


Frances F. Townsend was "appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, effective June 1, 2003. She served on the staff of the National Security Council and reported to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. She also reported to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security with respect to matters relating to global terrorism in the United States." [1]

Townsend "came to the White House from the U. S. Coast Guard, where she had served as Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. Prior to that, Ms. Townsend spent 13 years at the U. S. Department of Justice in a variety of senior positions, her last assignment as Counsel to the Attorney General for Intelligence Policy. Ms. Townsend began her prosecutorial career in 1985, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. In 1988, she joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York where she focused on international organized crime and white-collar crime cases. In 1991, she worked in the Office of the Attorney General to assist in establishing the newly created Office of International Programs, the predecessor to the Executive Office for National Security. In December 1993, she joined the Criminal Division where she served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Attorney General and played a critical part in establishing the Division's international training and rule of law programs. From November of 1995 to November of 1997, Ms. Townsend was Director of the Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division, which serves as the U. S. Central Authority for extradition and mutual legal assistance, and works with the Department of State in the negotiation of international law enforcement treaties. In November of 1997, Ms. Townsend was appointed as Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, where she oversaw international law enforcement and training matters in the Criminal Division, and acted as an advisor to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General on international law enforcement policy. In March of 1998, Ms. Townsend was appointed Counsel for Intelligence Policy, managing matters related to national security policy and operations for the Department of Justice. In this capacity she headed the office of Intelligence Policy and Review, an office that provides legal advice and recommendations to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice regarding national security matters, reviews executive orders, directives and procedures relating to the intelligence community, and approves certain intelligence-gathering activities, especially those matters related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"After three years of study, Ms. Townsend graduated cum laude from the American University in 1982 where she received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Psychology. Ms. Townsend received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1984. In 1986, she attended the Institute on International and Comparative Law in London, England." [2]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Mike Allen, "Homeland security aide leaving White House," [[The Politico, November 19, 2007.
  2. Bio: Frances Fragos Townsend,
  3. See the directive for details of this position.

External articles