University of Houston president Renu Khator has been appointed to U.S. DHS Academic Advisory Council. (Photo: courtesy University of Houston)

University of Houston president Renu Khator has been appointed to U.S. DHS Academic Advisory Council. (Photo: courtesy University of Houston)

Renu Khator, a top Indian American woman academic, has been appointed as member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Academic Advisory Council, Oct. 20, writes Seema Hakhu Kachru. – @siliconeer #siliconeer #IndianAmerican #RenuKhator #UniversityofHouston #DHS #HomelandSecurity #AcademicAdvisoryCouncil

The appointment of Khator, Chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston (UH), was announced by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson on Oct. 19.

The council, which is made up of 23 members, including college presidents, academic leaders and inter-agency partners, provides advice and recommendations to the secretary on matters related to homeland security and the academic community.

Since its formation in 2012, members have issued more than 120 recommendations in the areas of academic research and faculty exchange, campus resilience, cyber security, international students, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) academic programs and recruitment of current students and recent graduates.

Khator, who will serve a four-year term on the council, was selected by DHS based on her expertise in higher education leadership and University of Houston’s leadership in homeland security research.

University of Houston is the lead institution for the DHS Center of Excellence for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research, awarded in late 2015, and one of only three universities in Texas with dual designation by the National Security Agency and the DHS for its educational and research programs in cyber security and cyber defense.

“Serving on this council is both an honor and a serious responsibility,” said Khator.

“There can be no more important task than maintaining the safety of our country. Through research, innovation and workforce development, higher education must continue to play a vital role in helping DHS meet that crucial objective,” she said.

“What President Khator brings is not only a deep understanding of the issues facing our campuses but also a firm grasp of the mission of DHS through her work at the University of Houston,” said Trent Frazier, executive director of the Office of Academic Engagement. “DHS and OAE are excited to further collaborate with her.”

Khator joined the University of Houston System in 2008 and oversees a four-university organization that serves nearly 70,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion and generates nearly $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.

Khator, who holds a PhD in political science and public administration from Purdue University, serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Board of Directors and was president of the American Council on Education.