We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Homeland Security Agencies?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the US has a number of subcomponents and agencies that make up the entire organization. These various components can generally be categorized into three major groups: department components, secretary offices, and advisory panels and committees. Within these three subdivisions there are a number of different Homeland Security agencies, such as the Science and Technology Directorate, the Office of the Inspector General, and the US Secret Service.

Of the three subcomponents of the DHS, many are typically referred to as department components. These typically include various offices and directorates that oversee different aspects of the DHS and work to ensure national security. The Homeland Security agencies that are components of the DHS include Directorates for National Protection and Programs, Science and Technology, and Management, as well as Offices of Policy, Health Affairs, Intelligence and Analysis, and Operations Coordination and Planning. Components of the DHS also include the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the Transportation Security Administration, and US Customs and Border Protection.

Other components of the DHS include the US Coast Guard, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Secret Service. There are also a number of secretary offices that serve as Homeland Security agencies in overseeing other aspects of national security. These include the Privacy Office, the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the Office of Inspector General, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of Public Affairs. The various offices that exist as Homeland Security offices are each overseen by a secretary and also include the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, the Office of the Executive Secretariat, the Military Adviser’s Office, and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

A number of Homeland Security agencies act as advisory panels and committees both to the DHS and to other agencies within the federal government. These include the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, and the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council. There are also several interdepartmental Homeland Security agencies including the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities, the Task Force on New Americans, and the Department of Homeland Security Labor-Management Forum. These agencies typically work among departments and agencies within the federal government to ensure coordination for the proper execution of major national programs.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By SkyWhisperer — On Dec 01, 2011

@hamje32 - When I was laid off I found recruiters from US Customs and Border Protection at the unemployment office. They were almost hiring people on the spot, and from their flyers, it seemed that it paid well and there was a lot of potential for career advancement.

Of course, it was dangerous too. Some of these people get wounded or even killed in the line of fire. It comes with the territory, I suppose, but if you like a job where no two days are the same and cherish adventure, this might be the career path for you.

By hamje32 — On Dec 01, 2011

@everetra - I can tell you one agency that is very effective at what it does – ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). I had some friends who, unfortunately, had a brutal encounter with ICE officials.

These friends of mine were well intentioned, but they were undocumented workers. A couple of years ago our city passed a harsh (in my opinion) anti illegal immigration bill, and pretty soon the guys from ICE came knocking.

They hauled off my friends to jail and within 30 days they were deported. It was an ugly experience for all and I tried to intervene, but who am I?

With all the talk about immigration these days, I am sure you can find a lot of homeland security careers working for ICE - if you enjoy that kind of thing. I couldn't do it, law or no law.

By everetra — On Nov 30, 2011

@Mammmood - Well, a lot of these agencies already existed. Homeland security simply consolidated them. Whether that made them less or more efficient I don’t know, but I personally doubt it.

I’ve heard that agencies like the FBI and the CIA have had trouble sharing information with each other, but I don’t know if this was because of bureaucracy or a problem in getting their computers to talk to each other and share information.

FEMA existed before, too, and it’s been effective in disaster relief in my opinion. That’s the purpose of FEMA, not to act as some sinister “shadow government,” like some conspiracy theorists insist.

By Mammmood — On Nov 29, 2011

The Office of Homeland security was created in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States. While I think it was important to set up this office, I wonder if the massive bureaucracy that has been created has been good overall.

I think that as a general trend the government has been more alert to possible terrorist threats, and that has been good, but I am not convinced that all the different agencies communicate well with each other.

Each layer of bureaucracy that you add makes efficient communications all the more difficult. I think that’s true in any institution.

Personally, I believe it would have been better to enlist more help from the private sector in beefing up our national security infrastructure, rather than creating more red tape for investigators to cut through.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.