Frances Fragos Townsend's history

Fran Townsend is an American attorney who served as the second Assistant to the President of the United States. She is a national security expert and political commentator.

The Early Years

Fran Townsend was born in Mineola, New York. She was raised Catholic. In 1982 she graduated with a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in psychology from the American University.
In 1984 she pursued a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego Law School.

Fran Townsend’s Role in History’s Largest Counterterrorism Investigation

On September 11, 2001, Fran Townsend was the White House’s “Emergency Planning Coordinator,” the highest-ranking person in the United States government to respond to and handle the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.

Fran Townsend’s Role in History’s Largest Overland Transportation Investigation

In 2003 Fran Townsend was appointed by President George W. Bush as his Homeland Security Advisor. She served as the principal White House Advisor on Homeland Security, coordinating the administration’s Homeland Security strategy.

In 2007 Fran Townsend was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the second for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In this capacity, she was the principal White House Advisor.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is an agency of the United States federal government with responsibilities in public security, roughly comparable to interior ministries elsewhere in the world. Its missions include border security anti-terrorism, cyber security, immigration and customs, and disaster prevention management. It was created regarding the September 11 attacks of 2001.

The Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of this department and a member of the President’s Cabinet.
In 2007 Fran Townsend became one of only three women ever to hold a position in the Secretarial branch.