Cathy Lanier spent nearly 27 years with the Metropolitan Police Department. Serving much of her career working through the ranks in uniform patrol, Cathy served as the Commanding Officer of the Fourth District, one of the largest and most diverse residential patrol districts in the city. She also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Major Narcotics Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units.
Shortly after 9/11, Cathy was named Commander of the Special Operations Division (SOD), where she managed the Emergency Response Team, Aviation and Harbor Units, Explosive Ordinance Division, Horse Mounted and Canine Units, Special Events/Dignitary Protection Branch, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Civil Disturbance Units. During her tenure as SOD Commander, she established the agency’s first Homeland Security/Counter-Terrorism Branch and created an agency-wide chemical, biological, radiological response unit known as the Special Threat Action Team.
In 2006, the MPD's Office of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism (OHSCT) was created, and Cathy was tapped to be its first Commanding Officer. A highly respected professional in the areas of homeland security and community policing, she took the lead role in developing and implementing coordinated counter-terrorism strategies for all units within the MPD and launched Operation TIPP (Terrorist Incident Prevention Program).
In 2007 Cathy was unanimously confirmed as the Chief of Police by the Council of the District of Columbia – becoming the first woman to hold that rank in the Department’s history. Cathy served as the Chief of Police for nearly 10 years, serving under three different Mayors. She retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in September 2016, accepting her current position as the Senior Vice President of Security for the National Football League.
Cathy is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy. She holds Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master's Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She is certified at the technician level in Hazardous Materials Operations.