Frances Townsend: From Homeland Security Expert to Director of Corporate Affairs

Frances Townsend is an American national security expert working for Corporate Affairs at Activision Blizzard. She served as the homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush until she left in 2007. Townsend was the first woman to be appointed Assistant to the President of the United States for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and simultaneously Deputy National Security Advisor.

Following her tenure with the Bush administration, Townsend served as a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council from 2008–2010 and on the Technical Advisory Committee for its Security Standards Audit Control Board. She also served on the Homeland Security Policy Institute’s Board of Visitors.

During 2010 she was a member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, which recommended improvements to the United States’ defense against biological threats.

Townsend has been named one of Washington’s top 50 leaders on homeland security issues and one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “100 Tastemakers” in 2006. At its annual awards event, she was among 100 women leaders honored by Jewish Women International as an Outstanding Woman in the Jewish Community.

Townsend served as an adjunct assistant professor (security studies) at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service for six years until 2009, teaching graduate-level courses on terrorism and homeland security. She has also taught undergraduate degree courses on the same subjects at American University, George Mason University, and Trinity Washington University.

Townsend is a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) of George Washington University. Previously, she served as an adjunct professor with the graduate program in the School of International Service (SIS) national security affairs. She taught courses on terrorism and homeland security.

Townsend serves as an Advisory Board member for Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History. She is also the advisory board member for the Kent School of Social Work.