The Honorable Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global LLC. As the company's chief executive, he leads a team of international experts who help businesses and governments meet a range of strategic and operational needs, including risk management and global trade security, strategic business generation, technology integration, event security, crisis management, campus security and other issues that encompass a diverse portfolio.
Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, he became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. During his tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000-plus employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.
Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge's aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state's advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment.
Born August 26, 1945, Ridge earned a scholarship to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967. After his first year at The Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.
An engaging and dynamic speaker, Secretary Ridge regularly addresses audiences throughout the world on issues such as security, terrorism, global engagement, leadership, technology and more. Additionally, he serves on public and private boards, including the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and is currently the chairman of the National Organization on Disability and national co-chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Fundraising Campaign.