Boston, MA. Law firm Nixon Peabody LLP is pleased to announce that former Massachusetts Undersecretary for Homeland Security Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe has joined the firm as Director, National Security and Resiliency.
Based in the firm’s Boston office, Jeanne will team with the firm’s attorneys to help clients identify and mitigate active and emerging risks that could jeopardize the health, safety, and well-being of their people or disrupt the continuity of their services. She draws on deep executive leadership and public policy experience in national security, public safety, crisis management, and public health preparedness to work with private, public, and nonprofit entities to develop and implement forward-thinking strategies that map out resilient futures.
“All complex organizations face coordination challenges, and Jeanne uses her experience in public-sector response to help clients open clear paths of collaboration,” said James Vallee, managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s Boston office. “Jeanne’s versatility and consensus-building skills inform her guidance to organizations of all types. I’ve seen firsthand how this can align shared goals with internal and external stakeholders.”
Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, Jeanne served as Massachusetts Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Charlie Baker, helping to fortify public safety efforts by building responsive coalitions across business sectors and jurisdictions. She directly supervised six public safety state agencies, including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Fire Services, the Commonwealth Fusion Center, the Massachusetts National Guard, the Homeland Division of the Office of Grants and Research, and the Statewide Interoperability and Cyber Security Division.
Jeanne was instrumental in developing Massachusetts’ first-ever statewide Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CIRT). She served as the Secretary of Public Safety’s primary liaison to state and federal partners, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the National Governors Association.
“Many of our clients are seeking to bolster their response to high-stakes disruptors such as public health emergencies, active shooter incidents, civil unrest, severe weather events, and cyberattacks,” said Christopher Froeb, Nixon Peabody partner and leader of the firm’s Affordable Housing & Real Estate practice. “Jeanne’s experience in these areas is invaluable in helping clients pinpoint these challenges, prepare strategies to address them, and drive the best outcomes.”
Jeanne holds a BA in communications from Providence College and several professional certificates in political affairs, crisis communications, and event planning from Georgetown University and Boston University. She is a graduate of FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD, and Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Jeanne has earned the Level II Masters in Continuity from FEMA and is a Massachusetts Certified Emergency Manager. Further, she earned her certification from the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and graduated from the QPA-90 Qualified Individual (QI) program for Oil Spills and Disasters through the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.