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Homeland Security

James has extensive expertise in matters of homeland security and federal legislative policy. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In this role, he advocated for and advanced President George W. Bush’s homeland security policies and initiatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Play-Action has keen insights into the mission, policy development, legislative matters and operations at the Department of Homeland Security. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle often lauded James Norton for his bipartisan and pragmatic approach.

During his time with the Department of Homeland Security he participated in policy and appropriations discussion on key issues including aviation security, cybersecurity, border security, chemical security, immigration, emergency preparedness, transportation, and public safety. 

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James Norton has testified before Congress and is a noted expert on matters of cybersecurity policy. He is a regularly published author on the subject, and speaks at conferences around the country.

In addition to his extensive professional experience dealing with cyber security issues in the private and public sector, James teaches graduate level courses on cybersecurity policy as an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Kreieger School of Arts and Sciences. He frequently comments in the media on cyber, homeland security, and legislation, with opinion pieces appearing in various publications.

Play-Action advises clients as the government expands cyber programs and develops requirements for future and current programs of record. The firm helps clients understand the Homeland Security and Defense Departments’ cyber budget priorities for the coming fiscal years. 

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As a former senior executive at a major defense corporation, James Norton has a strong understanding of the defense acquisition process, from policies at OSD down to requirements at the operational level, having worked with all branches of the Department of Defense. He understands the importance of business relationships and has a record of success in fostering partnerships among prime and sub contractors, and optimizing supply chains. 


James understands that procurement is a unique process. Each cabinet agency and sub agency has its own culture and buying practices and the firm supports clients plan for the future and establish a healthy pipeline for businesses of all sizes. 

Play-Action will guide through the entire process, from identifying RFPs, all the way to award, and every step along the way. Even after a program has been won, Play-Action helps clients with customer relations and manage program challenges arise.

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Drawing on a depth of experience as both a public and private sector executive, James Norton advises clients regarding the inception of budgetary issues. Play-Action educates clients on the critically important development of the federal budget from the White House, Office of Management and Budget to the Cabinet executive departments, and finally its presentation to Congress. The firm has a deep understanding of the players and the processes that drive federal authorization and appropriations.