Terrorism in Maine, with Chet Lunner

April 15, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Jackman, Maine border crossingCape resident Chet Lunner is a retired member of the federal Senior Executive Services and a former national news correspondent who served in senior positions in Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security. He was one of the key players who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Lunner will address terrorism as it relates to us right here in Maine.

How Terrorist Attacks of 9/11 Changed One Former Maine Editor’s Life by Irwin Gratz. September 9, 2016 Maine Public Broadcasting System

Maine Voices: Citizens can help prevent terrorism, by Chet Lunner. June 19, 2016, Portland Press Herald

Maine Voices: In fight against terrorism, only humans can evaluate the intent factor. November 19, 2015 Portland Press Herald

About Chet Lunner

Chet LunnerAt the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Chet Lunner’s work hangs in a place of honor, commemorating his national reporting skills. He wrote that particular story “live” in January 1986 from Kennedy Space Center, where he had moments earlier witnessed firsthand the Challenger space shuttle disaster as the on-scene correspondent for USA Today and the nationwide Gannett News Service newswire.

In Congress, he is remembered as a senior staffer with the particular ability to work in a bipartisan fashion, playing key roles in the creation and growth of such unique initiatives as the Faith & Politics Institute, the Congressional Civility Retreats, and the biennial Civil Rights Pilgrimages for members of Congress and their families to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.

At the Department of Homeland Security, DOT and TSA, he was recognized for his effective external outreach, communications and coordination skills across a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including governors, mayors, legislators, law enforcement, emergency management, health and fire service leadership – the entire gamut of state, local and tribal partners in the post-9/11 domestic security environment. He successfully dealt with international media, served as a subject matter expert for the White House and testified before Congress.

He retired from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, which is charged with oversight and coordination of the entire DHS intelligence enterprise, including the United States Coast Guard, United States Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Air Marshals’ Service and Citizen and Immigration Services.

But before achieving these national accomplishments, Lunner was a Mainer, having moved here from upstate New York in the mid-1970’s. Once settled in Maine, he joined the staff of the Biddeford Journal Tribune, where he quickly rose to the managing editor position. Later, he became city editor of the Portland Evening Express, the afternoon edition of the Portland Press Herald, and was subsequently appointed editor and assistant general manager of the Kennebec Journal in Augusta.

He was the founding president of the Maine chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Serving as the top news editor at three of Maine’s daily newspapers gave Lunnera comprehensive view of the issues facing the state, and personal access to the top leadership in both political parties across several administrations.

Today, he has retired from federal service and returned to the Maine coast with his wife Sandy and is actively exploring meaningful ways to leverage his Washington experience and contribute to the welfare and security of the state they love.

Member: the National Press Club; Maine Public Relations Council; the Society of Professional Journalists; Association of Former Intelligence Officers; World Affairs Council of Maine, and the Maine Irish Heritage Center.

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