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The Biometrics domain supports information sharing and promotes interoperability between mission-based organizations engaged in activities such as homeland security, national defense, border management, immigration benefits and global law enforcement through the joint development and alignment of XML Biometric Standards.

Biometric Wordle

By facilitating the sharing of biometrics information between organizations, NIEM serves as a central element in the coordinated global effort to maintain and refine operations focused on security, intelligence, law enforcement, international trade, travel and immigration by means of identity management and assurance. The NIEM Biometrics domain provides a platform for the Biometrics and Identity Management Community of Interest to review and harmonize standards and schemas, to provide and receive technical assistance and training, as well as to communicate and engage across this diverse user group.

The NIEM Biometrics domain was launched in July 2012 under the Stewardship of the Office of Biometric Identity Management within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). The Biometrics domain operates under the oversight of its executive committee, which includes Diane A Stephens (OBIM) as Chair, Justin Smith (DOJ/FBI) as Co-Chair and Brad Wing (NIST) as Ombudsman.

Since its inception, members of the domain and key stakeholders have successfully worked to create a framework of best practices to foster collaboration and technical assistance within the biometrics and identity management communities. Due to efforts of domain members, the formal release of NIEM 3.0 in late 2013 contained the first complete biometrics schema within NIEM. Other significant domain activities have included ongoing participation in the NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC) and associated working groups, review of organizational alignment issues and technical assistance to the biometrics community of interest, IEPD review and continual community engagement.

Join Us!

Become an active participant in the Biometrics domain and find out how the use of NIEM is helping to optimize operations across the biometrics and identity management communities. The Biometrics domain is a dynamic community that’s using NIEM to streamline and facilitate data exchanges among entities and organizations that utilize biometrics to meet their diverse and challenging mission objectives.

The NIEM Biometrics Domain provides the following:

  • Biometric Schema Development and Harmonization. Stakeholders and members have the opportunity to actively participate in the development of the biometrics schema. This schema is closely aligned to existing and emerging biometrics standards as put forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), including the ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011 Standard and the 2013 Supplemental Update that includes new modalities. The Biometrics domain standard works from this base and harmonizes across member and stakeholder organizational parameters. Members can serve on one of several schema and code list review teams, in addition to tiger teams related to data quality and technical review.

  • Technical Assistance and Training. The Biometrics domain provides technical assistance in the form of IEPD review, organizational, systems and policy alignment and NIEM training with a focus on biometric operations. In 2013, the Biometrics domain held multiple training sessions covering both executive and technical elements of NIEM as it relates to biometric information sharing. At the 2013 Biometrics Consortium Conference (BCC) in Tampa, the Biometrics domain provided the first fully AFCEA-certified NIEM training to attendees of the conference.

  • Community Engagement and Outreach. Throughout the year, the Biometrics domain provides continual domain activity updates to its members and stakeholders. These updates allow the Biometrics domain to highlight the contributions of members and stakeholders, while also providing a platform for introduction of new issues and ideas. Due to its high-level of engagement, development of operational best practices and constant focus on development and refinement of services and assets that contribute to the Biometrics Community of Interest, as well as associated NIEM communities, the Biometrics Domain was awarded Honorable Mention in the Best of NIEM for 2013. 

  • Recent releases from the Biometrics domain can be viewed here.

Important Information about the Biometrics Domain

  • Domain Stewardship: The Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) serves as the steward of the Biometrics domain.


  • For questions relating to the Biometrics domain or domain membership, please email:

  • Recent releases relating to Biometrics domain activities can be viewed here.

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