New Mexico's new homeland security director, Annette Sobel, wants to start her new job with teaching. Sobel
, who was appointed by Gov.
"I want to know how people feel about the war on terror," Sobel
said."I can't do my job unless I understand how the community thinks and how they will respond in a crisis." Sobel is a medical doctor and a national security analyst for Sandia National Laboratories.She's
also a brigadier general in the Air National Guard.
"That's been a very interesting job," she
said."I'm one of the few women who hold that title." She
has organized several counterterrorism conferences in New Mexico over the past 10 years and is an expert in fighting bioterrorism. Richardson asked Sandia President C. Paul Robinson to loan Sobel to the state to fill the position after former director R. L. Stockard resigned, Sobel said.
"Jobwise, I don't think there will be a big difference in the substance of what I do for the state and what I have been doing for Sandia
said."I'll just spend more time leveraging my national ties and networking to build a substantive security and educational outreach program in New Mexico." Sobel
will continue working for the labs part time for the next three months as she
shifts into the position.She
still has a lot to learn about the state homeland security office and the details of state response plans before she
will make changes, if they're needed.
"I know a lot about biological problems and health issues," she
said."I also know a lot about the complexities of military response plans, but there are still several areas I'm learning about." Her
first goal will be to build an educational outreach program, where members of the Homeland Security Department will talk to people about their fears of terrorist attacks with smallpox, dirty bombs and other devices.The program will teach people the reality of those threats and how to react if a problem occurs, Sobel
"Educational outreach is the first thing on my list," she
"We need to look at new areas were we can compete for money," Sobel