Strategic Analysis for Cybersecurity and Immigration

June 2014
Peter Sheingold

MITRE's Peter Sheingold brings a deep background in homeland security and strategic analysis to his work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the immigration, border security, and cyber mission spaces. He works within MITRE's Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (HSSEDI™), the federally funded research and development center MITRE manages for DHS.

Sheingold often leads tasks that involve collaboration with DHS sponsors and MITRE colleagues and connect strategy, policy, organization, and technology. "I've worked on a broad range of strategic analysis and planning projects with homeland security sponsors including USCIS [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services], OBIM [the Office of Biometric Identity Management, formerly known as US-VISIT], and DHS Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C)," he says.

"At its core, this work is about collaborating with sponsors to clarify strategic intent—where does an organization want to go in the future to achieve its mission. This intent can be translated in many ways such as strategic plans, operational concepts, or redesigned organizations that better align with mission goals."

However, each sponsor project has its own specific requirements and challenges. "With OBIM, we helped the office become an agency-wide provider of biometric identity services. With USCIS, we collaborated with the agency in different ways to help further its modernization goals. With CS&C we helped identify ways the government can better collaborate with industry to enhance the security and resilience of our nation's cyber and communications networks."

Finding Enterprise-of-Enterprise Solutions

On the surface, these sponsors and their missions may seem unrelated—immigration, border security, cybersecurity—but Sheingold is quick to point out their similarities.

"All of these sponsors focus on dynamic, global movement—people across borders, data across networks. In addition, they work in very diverse environments that cut across many different sectors, stakeholders, organizations, processes, and systems. We must think not only about system-of-systems solutions but also about enterprise-of-enterprises solutions."

Balancing different mission priorities is also essential. "In cyber, DHS balances considerations of economic growth and openness against security and privacy concerns. In immigration, DHS has to think about how to realize our country's promise as a nation of immigrants while also protecting our nation from national security and fraud risks," Sheingold said.

A Commitment to Service

Sheingold came to MITRE in 2005, but has worked with DHS from its inception.

"9/11 had a big impact on me as an American and as a professional. I have spent the last decade helping to build DHS. This is a big endeavor as DHS includes so many different missions, stakeholders, systems, and organizations. I am very motivated by the importance of DHS’ missions and the dedication of its people. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to play a role in this important work."

Service is also a significant part of Sheingold's personal life. He's in his first year as the Board Chair of the American Jewish Society for Service (AJSS). "AJSS has a 65-year history of providing teenagers meaningful opportunities to roll up their sleeves and serve communities in need throughout the U.S." he says.

Sheingold has been active with AJSS for many years. "I participated as a teen, was on staff as a counselor in my twenties, and have spent the last seven years on the board."

MITRE's mission to service in the public interest aligns nicely with his personal goals. "Ever since I walked through the door of MITRE I have been impressed by how much MITRE and its people are motivated by the missions of its sponsors. It's great to work for an organization which is driven by the most important question: How can our sponsors best meet their vital missions?"

—by Kay M. Upham

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