Civitas Group enters consultants arena

A who's who of national security experts has formed a consulting company to advise businesses and government agencies on homeland security.

Civitas Group LLC, based in Washington, is a venture between Stonebridge International LLC and BKSH & Associates. Samuel Berger, former national security adviser in the Clinton administration and now chairman of Stonebridge, and Charlie Black, the chairman of government relations firm Black Kelly Scruggs & Healey and a GOP lobbyist, are serving as co-chairmen.

The board of advisers includes business leaders and former government officials who have served five administrations. Former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., who led the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century and served as chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, is board chairman.

Other board members include:

*Dick Clarke, who worked with the last three presidents as an adviser on counterterrorism. He most recently led development of the national cybersecurity plan.

*Joe Allbaugh, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

*Kenneth Minihan, former director of the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

*Kurt Campbell, director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

*Jim Francis, chairman of the Texas Public Safety Commission.

*Robert Swindell, former managing director and head of U.S. technology at Lehman Brothers.

Civitas President Michael Hershman was deputy auditor general for the Foreign Assistance Program of the U.S. Agency for International Development. In the 1970s, he was a senior staff investigator with the Senate Watergate Committee. He later became chief investigator for a joint presidential and congressional commission that reviewed state and federal laws on wiretapping and electronic surveillance. Before launching Civitas, Hershman was president and CEO of Decision Strategies, an international security consulting company.

"There is an enormous amount of innovation and expertise in the private sector that has direct application to homeland security requirements. Matching it to government needs and priorities will be the core Civitas mission," Hershman said.

Civitas will have a strategic partnership with Good Harbor Consulting LLC, a homeland security consulting company led by Clarke.

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