The real estate industry has been contributing to the groupsince its inception shortly after Sept. 11, Reid tells GlobeSt.com.One of the subcommittees that make up the group is chaired by RealEstate Roundtable's Roger Platt, he explains. "Roger has done afantastic job of conveying the issues relevant to the commercialfacilities sector." But having a representative from the industryon the Board, he explains, means participation at the oversightlevel. "Now we have a direct interface with the White House andHomeland Security Department. We will be able to bring a greaterfocus to our specific issues, which have a net gain for thecommercial real estate industry."

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Established in October 2001, the NIAC advises the president,through the secretary of Homeland Security, on the security ofcritical infrastructure. It works to improve partnerships betweenthe private and public sectors and provides counsel on a variety ofissues. The NIAC is composed of up to 30 appointees, typicallysenior-level executives representing major sectors of the economy,including energy, banking and finance, transportation, informationtechnology and manufacturing. Academia, state and local government,and law enforcement are also on the council, which meets publiclyfour times a year, taking on four to six major studies. Thepresident meets with the council at least once a year and regularlygives directives regarding "issues of interest."

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One of the first tasks Reid would like to tackle is a refocus inthe private sector on security. "We are nearly seven years beyond9-11. When this council was first formed security and protection ofinfrastructure was a pre-eminent concern." Now, he says, while apriority is still placed on infrastructure protection, it is not animmediate focus anymore by senior executives and officials."Whether that makes us more vulnerable or not, I don't know, but Iwould like to see this issue be at the top of executives' mindsagain."

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Reid explains this is an a-political appointment. "There is nopolitical agenda. We are hopeful this group can provide continuityfrom one administration to the next as the next president seekscounsel and perspective in terms of infrastructure protectionissues."

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at GlobeSt.com for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.