Prominent Speakers Take Center Stage at 2005 ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit

August 26, 2005 -- Redlands, California—Decision makers from the public and private sectors will gather at the ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver, Colorado, September 12-14, 2005. This year's impressive lineup of keynote speakers underscores the crucial role that geographic information systems (GIS) plays in homeland security. These outstanding leaders will share their perspectives on knowledge management, decision support, and proactive approaches that improve systems for public protection and business continuity.

U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Senator Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 and is recognized as one of the nation's most influential voices on terrorism, drug policy, and crime prevention. Senator Biden has been instrumental in drafting virtually every major piece of crime legislation over the past two decades, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which dramatically increased law enforcement funding. Senator Biden also serves as chairman of the Congressional Fire Service Caucus, whose members pledge support to fire departments in their respective districts, and as cochairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus.

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater

As Secretary of Transportation during the Clinton administration, Secretary Slater led a department of 100,000 employees including the U.S. Coast Guard (which has since been transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security). Several historic initiatives were passed during Secretary Slater's tenure, including the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century, providing $46 billion to improve the safety and security of the nation's aviation system. Under his leadership, the federal transportation budget doubled as the scope of the Department of Transportation expanded to also focus on safety, mobility and access, economic development, the environment, and national security.

John W. Loonsk, M.D.

Dr. Loonsk received his medical training at the State University of New York, Buffalo, after graduating from Johns Hopkins University. In August 1999, he joined the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as associate director for informatics and chief information officer. His work has been instrumental in the development of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System and other activities in public health informatics. In 2004, Loonsk was named acting director of CDC's newly created National Center for Public Health Informatics.

For more information about the summit, visit More information about GIS and homeland security is available at

Press Information:

Jim Rich, ESRI
Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-2189
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