In a landmark decision, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the appointment of 12 new members and the return of two existing members to the National Advisory Council (NAC) on November 29, 2023.
Notably, Carrie Speranza, Director of Esri’s Emergency Management Solutions, has been named the new NAC Chair, marking the first time a woman has held this position in the Council’s history.
The National Advisory Council plays a crucial role in advising the FEMA Administrator on various aspects of emergency management, encompassing preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for disasters and national emergencies.
This council ensures that FEMA’s programs and services are effectively serving disaster survivors and communities.
Administrator Criswell emphasized the importance of the Council’s diverse expertise and experiences in enhancing FEMA’s effectiveness.
“This year, we’re appointing 14 members to the Council from across the country,” said Criswell.
She expressed pride in Speranza’s historic appointment and her commitment to the field of emergency management.
The Council members, starting their terms on December 1, 2023, will focus on recommendations centered around readiness, workforce, and climate resilience.
The 14 Council members, who will serve multi-year terms, are a diverse group from tribal, state, territorial, local governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.
The new appointees include Councilman Nelson Andrews, The Honorable Jill Boudreau, Mrs. Chloe Demrovsky, Mr. Thomas Jenkins, Dr. Michael Méndez, Mr. Thomas Munoz, Ms. Brittany Perkins Castillo, Mr. Salvatore Scarpa, The Honorable Frank Scott, Mr. Seth Statler, Mr. David Thomson, and Dr. Michael P. Williams, Sr.
They will be joined by two reappointed members, Mr. Donald Bliss and Mr. Brian Strong.
The new appointments coincide with the conclusion of terms for several Council members, including Ms. Jeanne Abadie, Dr. Sue Anne Bell, Ms. Donna Boston, Mr. Paul Downing, Mr. Jeff Hansen, Dr. Anna Lang, Ms. Linda Long, Ms. Tina Titze, and Mr. James Waskom.
The appointment of Carrie Speranza as the first female Chair of FEMA’s National Advisory Council marks a significant milestone in the field of emergency management.
This appointment reflects a growing trend towards inclusivity and diversity in leadership positions within key federal agencies.
Speranza’s leadership will likely bring fresh perspectives and approaches to the NAC, enhancing FEMA’s ability to address complex challenges in emergency management.
The new and returning members, with their diverse backgrounds and experiences, are expected to contribute to the development of more effective and resilient emergency management strategies, particularly in the face of increasing climate-related disasters.
The Council’s focus on readiness, workforce, and climate resilience is timely and crucial, aligning with the current global emphasis on sustainable and proactive disaster management practices.