Patterson Alum Named Head of Threat Operations at U.S. Department of State

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE  

Bureau of Diplomatic Security  

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For immediate release

Washington, D.C.

October 12, 2022

Former aide to retired Iowa U.S. Rep. Jim Leach named as head of threat operations at U.S. Department of State  

Paul Houston, who has spent a lifetime overseas, was named the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) for Threat Investigations and Analysis (TIA) on August 22, 2022. TIA serves as a global platform for threat investigations, analysis, and dissemination.  

In addition to a bachelor of arts degree in political science, with a separate focus on international business, from the University of Iowa in 1995, Mr. Houston has a master’s degree in national security policy and international economics from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.  

“No matter where my family lived abroad, I consider my home to be in Iowa,” Mr. Houston said. “I am grateful for my four years at the University of Iowa, my job as a legislative assistant for former U.S. Representative Jim Leach, and the many professional and personal relationships I have developed. The hard work, discipline, and initiative that is native to Iowans has shaped my approach to my professional career.”   

As assistant director of TIA, Mr. Houston oversees a comprehensive directorate focused on the dissemination of intelligence and threat information to U.S. diplomatic missions and interests around the world. TIA is a 24/7, 365-day operation staffed with agents, analysts, and contractors focused on the protection of people, facilities, and information.     

Mr. Houston’s overseas assignments include Germany, Jordan, Haiti, Serbia and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Domestically, Mr. Houston served as the director of the DSS Office of Special Investigations – conducting criminal and administrative investigations for the U.S. Department of State. Before that, he was the deputy director of the DS Command Center.  

Mr. Houston attended the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the U.S. Department of State’s National Security Executive Leadership Seminar (NSELS), and the Foreign Service Institute’s Senior Executive Threshold Seminar.    

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Department of State. DSS has the largest global presence of any U.S. law enforcement organization, operating at more than 270 U.S. diplomatic posts in over 170 countries, and in 33 U.S. cities. The organization leads worldwide security and law enforcement efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy and safeguard national security interests.  

To learn more about the Diplomatic Security Service, please visit diplomaticsecurity.state.gov.  

For media queries, please contact DS-Press@state.gov.  

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(Photo taken from the U.S. Department of State’s website, which can be found at: https://www.state.gov/biographies/paul-r-houston/)

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