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Welcome to what I think will be a very enjoyable and educational visit about women's role in changing the world. Women are powerful and have the ability to affect great change when motivated and able.

Highlighted on Same Shield is women's role in traditionally closed professions. These include law enforcement, the military, diplomacy, intelligence, and private industry.

You will have the opportunity to take a walk through history and to understand the evolution of these professions, as we know them today. In the process you will learn of the sacrifices and the challenges faced by women as each of these pioneers took the initial steps towards inclusion in their respective field. Their motivations were no different then those faced by modern colleagues, as they were driven by the desire to contribute to society and unafraid of change.

Also highlighted on Same Shield is the role that women are playing internationally, from politics to community health. Women are accelerating the pace of development and transition across the world. Included here are some of the stories of inspirational women.

I have been involved in law enforcement for nearly three decades and during that time have experienced a great deal of the joys and the challenges associated with the profession. I am hopeful that this site will in many ways demystify the profession, establish educational and professional guidance, and provide resources for further exploration as young people make career choice in a world forever changed.

- Dr. Kathleen Kiernan

About Dr. Kiernan

Dr. Kathleen Kiernan is the founder and CEO of Kiernan Group Holdings, Inc. Dr. Kiernan is a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement. She previously served as the Assistant Director for the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) where she was responsible for the design and implementation of an intelligence-led organizational strategy to mine and disseminate data related to explosives, firearms and illegal tobacco diversion, the traditional and non-traditional tools of terrorism.

Dr. Kiernan is the Chair Emeritus for the InfraGard Program, a public-private alliance with over 62,000 members representing all 18 critical infrastructures and key resources. She co-chaired the Homeland Security Intelligence Council (HSIC) for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and is the former Chair of the DCI's Law Enforcement Working Group, an initiative designed to bridge the communities of intelligence and law enforcement.

Dr. Kiernan is a senior member on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Terrorism subcommittee and serves on the Board of Regents of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

Other highlights of Dr. Kiernan's credentials include: Member of the Army Science Board where she led a panel exploring the transition of law enforcement training and technology to the war fighter; served as the ATF representative to the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at CIA, the Council Vice President for ASIS, International, with oversight of the Critical Infrastructure Working Group (CIWG); chaired the Domestic Intelligence Council for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA); an Intelligence Fellow (2001); and is a graduate of the FBI's National Executive Institute (Class 26), and is a member of the George Washington Policy Institute.

Dr. Kiernan led a nationwide Intelligence Community project involving the active interdiction of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) throughout the law enforcement and public safety communities, and led a team in the Quadrennial intelligence Community Review.

Dr. Kiernan serves as a Subject Matter Expert for the Rapid Reaction Technology Office for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other elements of the defense community.

Dr. Kiernan was the recipient of the Women of Influence-Public Sector award in 2010, and the recipient of a number of other public service and academic awards.

Dr. Kiernan completed her Doctorate in Education at Northern Illinois University and her Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence at the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, DC. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Transactions from George Mason University Homeland Security Policy Institute and a faculty member at The Johns Hopkins University and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Kiernan, Kathleen. (2009). "Counterintelligence and Law Enforcement." In Vaults, Mirrors, and  Masks: Rediscovering U.S. Counterintelligence. Edited by Jennifer E. Sims & Burton Gerber: Georgetown University Press: Washington. DC, 2009.

Ward, Richard, Kathleen Kiernan, & Daniel Mabrey. Homeland Security. Cincinnati, OH: Lexis-
Nexis, Anderson Publishing Company, 2006.

Latest News

Officer Down: Miosotis Familia
On July 5th, 2017, Detective Miosotis Familia was shot and killed in an ambush by Alexander Bonds. Bonds was shot and killed by police after murdering Familia. New York City police commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a message
to officers that she was “assassinated without warning, without provocation,
in a direct attack on police officers assigned to safeguard the people of New
York City."

Familia was the first female New York Police Department officer killed in the line of duty since the Sept. 11 attacks, and only the third female officer killed in a combat-­type encounter in the department’s history.

Full Story

Topic: LE Hall of Heroines ~ July 9, 2017

Florence Finch, Hero of World War II, dies at 101
Florence Finch was a Coast Guard veteran who fought against the Japanese in the Phillipine Resistance of World War II. Though she died on December 8, 2016, at the age of 101, she has only been recently memorialized in April.

After the Japanese occupied Manila, Finch avoided internment by claiming her Philippine citizenship. She received a note from her imprisoned army intelligence boss regarding shortages of food and medicine in the POW camps. Finch began assisting with locating and providing smuggled supplies to American POWs and helping provide fuel to Filipino guerrillas. In October 1944, the Japanese arrested Finch, beating, torturing and interrogating her during her initial confinement. Through it all, she never revealed information regarding her underground operations or fellow resisters.

American forces liberated her prison camp in February 1945, Finch weighed only eighty pounds. She boarded a Coast Guard-manned transport returning to the United States and moved to her late father's hometown of Buffalo, New York. In July 1945, she enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard
Women’s Reserve, or the SPARs, to avenge her husband who had been killed in the war. Finch served through the end of the war and was among the first Pacific-Island American women to don a Coast Guard uniform.

After the war, she met U.S. Army veteran Robert Finch. They married and moved to Ithaca, New York, where she lived the remainder of her life. Of the thousands of SPARs serving in World War II, she was the first to be honored with the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon. In November 1947, she received the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian medal awarded to Americans who aided in the war effort. In 1995, the Coast Guard honored her service by naming a facility for her at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Despite her heroics, Finch 
has said, "I feel very humble...because my activities in the war effort were trivial compared with those of the people who gave their lives for their country.”

She was buried with full military honors on Saturday at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Cayuga Heights, N.Y.

Full Story

Topic: Military ~ May 22, 2017

Marriage Cops: A Documentary Film in the Making
Marriage Cops is a documentary film that examines the state of marriage and family in contemporary India through daily life at the Women’s Help Line in Dehradun. The Help Line is a marital counseling center run by the state police and staffed by all women officers. It is the place where unhappy couples go to seek relief from their domestic troubles—abusive spouses, deadbeat dads, cheating wives and interfering mothers-in-law— the Help Line sees it all.

The officers who work at the Help Line don’t have any formal training in counseling or mediation outside of their police academy training.

Directed by
Shashwati Talukdar and Cheryl Hess, the project has received the prestigious grant from the Tribeca Film Institute. The film is scheduled for release in early 2018.

Topic: World Changers ~ December 20, 2016

New Paper: Responding to Complex Threat Environments
Private Partnerships, Public Safety provides a framework for a new networked approach to domestic security, with the paper’s principals – Dan Botsch, Norman Chambers, John Hurley, Kathleen Kiernan, and Dawn Scalici – outlining how improved interagency coordination and integration of private sector partners will enable quicker more flexible response to community threats. This paper is an extension of BENS’ sustained focus on the benefits of public-private partnerships, and how they can specifically aid the nation in navigating today’s complex domestic threat environment.

Topic: Homeland Security ~ October 20, 2016

Breast Cancer  in the Military:  Exposure vs Screening
Women in the military are more likely than other women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, it is still unclear if this increased rate is due to unusual exposure to carcinogens, increased rate of breast cancer screening in the military, or a combination of both. Veterans United Network provides a summary of both the positive and negative sides of breast cancer in the military. On one hand, there is evidence that soldiers face elevated risks of breast cancer due to exposure to chemicals and radio emissions, long-term use of oral contraceptives, and frequent night shifts. Areas with increased exposure to risk factors include military camps in Iraq that are built around landfills and burn pits, and military reservations where propellant bags were burned. On the other hand, becaue military women must go through a mandatory screening process in the miitary, breast cancer is diagnosed sooner and outcomes of military women with breast cancer tend to be better.

Topic: Health ~ October 15, 2016
Officer Down: Lesley Zerebny
Lesley Zerebny, 27, was fatally shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call on October 8, 2016. She had joined the Palm Springs Police Department less than two years before she was killed in the line of duty.

She and her husband, a Riverside County sheriff's deputy, were new parents to a four-month-old baby. Zerebny had recently returned from maternity leave.

"Here you have a wonderful, young, dedicated female officer that pressed forward every day to make it better for everybody else, and she gave her all," police chief Bryan Reyes said.

Full Story

Topic: LE Hall of Heroines ~ October 9, 2016
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Vets Fighting Breast Cancer
“One of the highest forms of cancer among our service members and veterans is breast cancer,” US Congressman Leonard L. Boswell once said. Military women are 20-40% more likely to get diagnosed with breast cancer than other women of the same age group. A 2009 study suggests that this is because military women are more likely to be engaged in industrial jobs than females in the general population and more likely to be exposed to chemicals that may be related to breast cancer.

This is why the nonprofit organization Vets Fighting Breast Cancer strives to raise awareness about the issue and provide resources for military women and men who are suffering from breast cancer. Their website includes resources and donation information.

Topic: Health ~ October 9, 2016
Women of the CIA: The Hidden History of American Spycraft
"There are more women in the CIA than ever before, with women operating at unprecedented levels on every floor of CIA headquarters and throughout its far-flung global outposts. Yet women remain underrepresented in executive-level jobs and the clandestine service."

Women have been involved in American intelligence throughout the history of the country. This Newsweek article offers a look into the experiences of seven women working in the CIA, including a clandestine operations officer, a bombing expert, and a weapons and space analyst. Some are unnamed because of the sensitivity of their work. These women play a critical role in keeping the country safe.

Topic: Intelligence~ September 24, 2016
2016 Officers Fatality Report
According to the 2016 Mid-Year Law Enforcement
Officer Fatalities Report, as of July 20, 2016, sixty seven federal, state and local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year, increasing eight percent over the 62 officers killed in the same period last year.

Thirty-two officers have been killed in firearms-related fatalities this year, a dramatic increase of 78 percent, compared to 18 deaths during the same period last year. Ambush killings of unsuspecting law enforcement officers is the leading circumstance of the firearms-related fatalities with 14 thus far in 2016—spiking more than 300 percent over the three ambush killings in the same period last year.

The report was compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. See here for the full report.

Topic: Law Enforcement~ August 16, 2016

National Preparedness Report 
National Preparedness Report from the Department of Homeland Security provides findings on the preparedness of all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, communities, and individuals for all types of disaster and emergencies. Preparedness is evaluated using 5 mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery from threats and hazards.

Topic: Homeland Security~ June 16, 2016

Mass Victimization: Promising Avenues for Prevention
Mass Victimization: Promising Avenues for Prevention, published by the FBI in December, 2015, identifies strategies that contribute to preventing incidents of targeted violence that result in mass casualty events, also known as mass victimization events or mass killings. Mass kilings refer to when three or more killings occur in a single incident and in a public space.

The prevention strategies that have been outlined in the document include preparation, utilizing multidisciplinary prevention efforts to increase the likelihood of success, opening communication between law enforcement and local communities, creating a threat assessment team, increasing awareness and education in the community, understanding the myths of mental ilness, and conducting table-top exercies on prevention within the community.

Topic: Homeland Security~ June 16, 2016

A Man's World? Exploring the Roles of Women in Counter Terrorism
and Violent Extremism

In the fight against terrorism, the women's role in enabling of and defenders against terrorism is often overlooked. Much attention has been put on the victimization of women by terrorist groups, of how they are duped or coerced into participating in terrorist activity, and of how they are targets of violent extremism and domestic abuse.

Although vicitimization is a critical matter to understand, we must not forget that women are not just victims, but also powerful agents of change. Women are frequently the first targets of radical fundamentalism. Thus, they are also the first ones to stand up to it. With more empowerment, these women may become especially effective as the first line of defense against extremism and terrorism.

A Man's World? Exploring the Roles of Women in Counter Terrorism
and Violent Extremism, compiled by Hedayah and the Global Center on Cooperative Security, is a collection of essays that offers valuable insight into this vital subject.

Topic: Women in Transition~ May 15, 2016

Officer Down: Susan Louise Farrell
Police Officer Susan Farrell and Police Officer Carlos Puente-Morales were killed when their patrol car was struck head-on by a wrong way driver.

They were transporting a prisoner from Council Bluffs back to Des Moines when the crash occurred. Both officers, the prisoner, and the driver of the wrong way vehicle were killed.

Officer Farrell had served with the Des Moines Police Department for only five months and had previously served with the Polk County Sheriff's Office for several years.

Officer Down Memorial Page

Topic: LE Hall of Heroines~ April 8, 2016
World Changers Highlight: Opening the Little League to Girls
As a hearings officer with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, Judge Sylvia B. Pressler opened Little League baseball to girls in a landmark 1973 case. As a result of the ruling, the Little League organization changed its charter to allow girls to compete nationally in the league and created a softball division specifically for girls. She famously wrote about her decision, "The institution of Little League is as American as the hot dog and apple pie. There is no reason why that part of Americana should be withheld from girls."

This case was not her only accomplishment in her prolific career. For more information, see the article Sylvia Pressler, 75; Opened Little League.

Topic: World Changers~ March 28, 2016

Officer Down: Ashley Marie Guindon
On February 27, 2016, Ashley Marie Guindon was shot and kiled while responding to domestic disturbance in Virginia. Officer Guindon was working her first day on the street with her training officer. The offender had murdered his wife in their home and opened fire on the officers with a rifle as they approached his home. He wounded Officer Guindon, and two others, including her training officer. Officer Guindon was flown away to Inova Fiarfax Hospital, where she passed away.

Officer Guindon was a member of the US Marine Corps Reserve and was working under the Prince William County Police Department, Virginia.

Officer Down Memorial Page

Topic: LE Hall of Heroines~ March 1, 2016

New INSS Event Report 
The Institue for National Strategic Studies has released a new Event Report, Countering Isis:One Year Later.

Topic: National Security ~ February 20, 2016

2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment
The Senate Armed Services Committee has recently released the 2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community. Accompanied is a testimony by Defence Intelligence Agency Director Vincent R. Stewart.

Topic: National Security ~ February 12, 2016
Sylvia Moir to Become Next Police Chief of Tempe
In January of 2016, Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching announced the appointment of Sylvia Moir as the next Chief of the Tempe Police Department. Moir is currently the Police Chief of El Cerrito, California and is expected to start work in her new position on March 21.

“Chief Moir distinguished herself through an exhaustive interview process for her intellect, judgment, compassion, enthusiasm and ability to engage employees and community members,” said Ching. “I am confident that her 26 years of law enforcement experience will serve Tempe well, allow for a seamless transition in leadership, and move our department forward.”

Full Story

Topic: Law Enforcement ~ February 7, 2016

Older articles can be accessed in the News Archive