A year after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress established the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States — a bipartisan commission, comprising five Republicans and five Democrats, charged with examining two fundamental questions in the wake of 9/11: “How did this happen, and how can we avoid such tragedy again?”
The result of this work was the 9/11 Commission Report, a 585-page document released in 2004 outlining their research and recommendations. The report’s findings related to both the nature of the terrorist threat and the failures of U.S. government institutions to adequately understand and deter such an attack.
The report, which “look[ed] backward in order to look forward”, also highlighted numerous lessons learned from September 11 — among them the gaps as well as overlaps between federal agencies that hindered effective information management and sharing. The ten commissioners made several recommendations for how to reorganize government (from departments and agencies to Congress itself) to better address these challenges.
You can look through the full 9/11 Commission Report here:911gov- 9-11 Commission Report
You can also view a roundtable, convened by The Washington Post’s On Leadership section, that features op-eds by six of the ten 9/11 commissioners. We asked the following commissioners to reflect on whether America — ten years after the September 11 attacks — has learned the leadership lessons outlined by their 9/11 Commission Report:
* Former Governor Thomas Kean & former Congressman Lee Hamilton
* Former Senator Slade Gorton
* Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman
* Former U.S. Ambassador and Congressman Tim Roemer