Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has been appointed by President Obama as co-chairman of the Council of Governors, a group charged with strengthening collaboration between federal and state governments on national security issues.

The council, which includes five Democratic governors and five Republican governors, was established in 2010. Several federal officials, including the U.S. secretaries of defense and homeland security, are also members.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) will serve as the other co-chairman with O’Malley, officials said.

O’Malley was first appointed in 2010 as a member of the council, which deals with issues related to the National Guard and homeland security, among others.

“Protecting the safety and security of the people we serve is the first priority of all elected officials,” O’Malley said in a statement Monday.