Arif Alikhan is currently Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the United States Department of Homeland Security. He is a former Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles and a former federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Alikhan was appointed to DHS in June of 2009 and is responsible for developing and coordinating department-wide policy issues involving the vast array of missions assigned to DHS. His team of scientists, analysts, attorneys, and economists work on issues ranging from counter-terrorism and information sharing to emergency management and cyber security.
As Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security in Los Angeles, Alikhan was responsible for overseeing the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Emergency Management Department, their combined budgets of over $2 billion, and managing over $400 million in federal and state grants. He was appointed to the position in September 2006 by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to replace Maurice Suh, currently a partner at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher in Los Angeles. .
Alikhan received praise for his accomplishments as Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles from many including Mayor Villaraigosa. In June 2009, the Mayor stated that:
Arif Alikhan has been instrumental in advancing my administration's central priorities of preparing Los Angeles to respond to natural disasters and against the threat of terrorism, increasing public safety, and putting 1,000 new LAPD officers on our streets,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “I wish him luck as he assumes this new role with the Obama Administration, and look forward to his continued efforts to help protect Los Angeles and our nation's cities.
Alikhan's efforts to hire 1,000 new LAPD officers resulted in the highest deployment level in LAPD history before Alikhan left for Washington. Additionally, Mr. Alikhan significantly advanced the Mayor’s emergency preparedness and counter-terrorism initiatives, substantially increased cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, led the effort to create the L.A. Fire Department's Professional Standards Division, and helped secure over $400 million in homeland security and public safety grants for the Los Angeles region. He was also a key coordinator and government official at major emergencies including numerous wild fires and the 2008 Chatsworth train collision that killed 25 people and injured over 300 train passengers.
Alikhan's career in law enforcement, public safety, and homeland security also included service as a Technical Reserve Police Officer in Newport Beach, California, prosecuting juveniles while working in the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, and prosecuting misdemeanor crimes with the Anaheim City Attorney's Office.  He then served 10 years with the U.S. Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles from 1997 to 2005 and then as a senior official at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 2005 through 2006.
Alikhan was recognized by the United States Department of Justice for his superior performance while serving as the first Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. Based on his work in Los Angeles, he was recruited to work in Washington D.C. to as a Senior Adviser to both Attorney General John Ashcroft and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to handle cybercrime and intellectual property initiatives. Alikhan has received awards from numerous federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and NASA Office of Inspector General.
Arif Alikhan was born in 1968 after his parents emigrated to North America from India and Pakistan in the late 1960s. . He is one of several accomplished South Asian Americans appointed to the Obama Administration. 
Alikhan graduated cum laude from the University of California at Irvine in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Ecology. He studied criminal justice, criminology and legal studies and conducted research in environmental analysis. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity (Mu Delta) and was appointed Commissioner of Campus Safety by the Associated Students of UC Irvine (ASUCI). He later attended Loyola Law School, Los Angeles where he graduated with honors and was the Chief Articles Editor of the Loyola Law Review. He subsequently worked as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, United States District Judge, Central District of California, in Los Angeles  and then as an associate for the law firm of Irell and Manella, in Century City .
Alikhan has served on several boards including the University of Southern California's CREATE Center for Homeland Security Government Advisory Committee  and was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at USC's Gould School of Law where he taught criminal procedure. In 1997, he was named one of the top 40 California attorneys under the age of 40 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and California Law Business.