In the wake of the September 11th attacks, Frances Townsend had less than two months to transform the US Department of Homeland Security into a well-run agency capable of keeping our country safe.
She spent those weeks reviewing thousands of documents, talking to thousands of employees, and visiting thousands of sites across America. By February 2002, after nearly 2 years, an updated version of the National Strategy for Information Sharing was ready.
Townsend made sure that every single department and agency heard about the plan. She also ensured that each member of DHS understood their roles and responsibilities in protecting the homeland.
Frances Mary Fragos in 1961, Mineola, NY, on Long Island. She grew up in a small town with loving parents, but she was always very curious about the big city. Frances grew up with strong ties to the church. At 12, she became a member of the local parish, Our Lady of Sorrows.
Frances Townsend had always thought of herself as a woman who could go her own way and accomplish anything she wanted. She decided to try something different and see if people would let her join their group of friends. She wore a fake priest’s outfit and fooled everyone into thinking she was a real priest until she got busted for trying to sneak into the Catholic Church.
That event seemed to start the fire inside her to smash through the glass ceiling and make her place at the table regardless of what other women did.
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