Ridge, Tom(Thomas Joseph Ridge), 1945–, U.S. politician and government official, first secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security (2003–5), b. Munhall, Pa. A graduate of Harvard (1967) and the Dickinson School of Law (1972) who served (1968–70) in the infantry in Vietnam, Ridge worked in private law practice and became active in the Republican party. In 1982 he was elected to the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and served six terms. Elected governor of his home state in 1994, he was in his second term when President George W. Bush asked him to head the Office of Homeland Security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (see Pentagon, thePentagon, the,
building accommodating the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Located in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the Pentagon is a vast five-sided building designed by Los Angeles architect G. Edwin Bergstrom.
..... Click the link for more information. ; World Trade CenterWorld Trade Center,
former building complex in lower Manhattan, New York City, consisting of seven buildings and a shopping concourse on a 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site; it was destroyed by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Chosen to head the newly established Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, Ridge oversaw the integration of the 22 agencies that were consolidated and reorganized in the DHS.