This past weekend, Governor Tom Ridge, first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, visited Notre Dame, not only to cheer on the Irish but also to give a talk entitled “A Conversation with Tom Ridge” at the Mendoza College of Business.
Father John Jenkins introduced Ridge and pointed to the relevance of his visit on the weekend of the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. After these horrific events, President Bush appointed Ridge to the task of organizing a new federal department out of 22 agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and the Coast Guard.
Ridge reminded the audience that nine years ago, 10,000 members of the Notre Dame community gathered for Mass on South Quad in honor of the victims of the attacks. In those days following September 11, liberty was challenged, but Americans were unified, said Ridge.
Because he was speaking at the request of the College of Business, Ridge related to business the lessons he learned as Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Ridge said that in a way he was “CEO” of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and then Division Head of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States.
Ridge offered four principles of leadershi