Great Seal of the United States National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Biography of Michael F. Byrne

On March 9, 2003, Michael Byrne, a former New York City firefighter who helped direct the Federal government's response at the World Trade Center in 2001, became the first Director of the Office of National Capital Region Coordination for the Department of Homeland Security. Byrne will oversee and coordinate Federal programs for and relationships with State, local, and regional authorities in the National Capital Region.

Mr. Byrne joined the Office of Homeland Security as the Senior Director for Response and Recovery in October of 2001 where he was instrumental in shaping the national vision and policy for emergency preparedness and response. He contributed substantially to the development of the President's First Responder Initiative, and to the development of a formal process for National Security Special Event designation. In addition, Mr. Byrne contributed significantly in the development of the National Strategy for Homeland Security which provides the vision of a national incident management system and single national response plan that will lay the foundation for emergency preparedness and response in the United States.

Mr. Byrne began his career in public service in 1979 with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) where he served as a firefighter and company officer for 20 years. During his time with FDNY, he led Ladder Company 12 in their response to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. He also served with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, working as the Director for Strategic Planning and the Chief Information Officer. As a part of the Commissioner's staff he was instrumental in implementing the integration of Emergency Medical Service operations with Fire operations, improvements to the Division of Training, and the development of the Fire Commissioner's Management Report.

Upon retiring from FDNY, Mr. Byrne joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1999 as the Response and Recovery Division Director in FEMA Region II (covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) where he led the federal response operations for Hurricanes Lenny and Floyd and Tropical Storm Allison. In 2001 he served as the Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer for Operations at Ground Zero in New York, where he was responsible for all federal response assets and recovery program administration in New York City.

A native of New York City, Mr. Byrne has received many awards for his service over the years including the prestigious Federal Executive Board Award for Teamwork in 2000 and 2002 for exceptional organizational achievement while in the service of the United States Government and the International Association of Fire Chiefs President's Recognition Award in 2002 for his leadership and representation of the interests of the fire service in homeland security.

Current News

The Commission has released its final report. [more]

The Chair and Vice Chair have released a statement regarding the Commission's closing. [more]

The Commission closed August 21, 2004. [more]

Commission Members

Thomas H. Kean

Lee H. Hamilton
Vice Chair

Richard Ben-Veniste
Fred F. Fielding
Jamie S. Gorelick
Slade Gorton
Bob Kerrey
John F. Lehman
Timothy J. Roemer
James R. Thompson

Commission Staff

Philip D. Zelikow
Executive Director

Chris Kojm
Deputy Executive Director

Daniel Marcus
General Counsel