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FEMA Appoints First Female National Advisory Council Chair, Welcomes New National Advisory Council Members

December 1, 2023 Leave a comment DRI Admin

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the appointment of 12 new members and two returning members to the agency’s National Advisory Council. This year, Carrie Speranza, director of Esri’s Emergency Management Solutions, is the new National Advisory Council Chair. Speranza previously served as vice chair alongside outgoing Chair Jeff Hansen, director of the Office of Emergency Management for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

The National Advisory Council advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management, including preparedness, protection, response, recovery and mitigation for disasters and national emergencies.

“The National Advisory Council (NAC) is charged with making recommendations to improve FEMA’s programs and services. Having a Council that has a diversity of expertise and experiences ensures we’re serving disaster survivors and communities as effectively as possible,” said Administrator Criswell. “This year, we’re appointing 14 members to the Council from across the country. I’m proud to share that, for the first time in the Council’s history, a woman will serve as NAC Chairperson. I congratulate Carrie Speranza on her appointment as she continues her career of service and dedication to the field of emergency management. I’m looking forward to working with her and the rest of the Council to continue to improve the work we do to help people before, during, and after disasters.”

The 14 council members will serve multi-year terms beginning Dec. 1 and will guide future recommendations centered around readiness, workforce, and climate resilience. The National Advisory Council is comprised of 40 geographically diverse, emergency managers, emergency responders, and subject matter experts from tribal, state, territorial, and local governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.

The following 12 new members will begin their terms on Dec. 1, 2023:

  • Councilman Nelson Andrews, Emergency Management Director, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
  • The Honorable Jill Boudreau, Mayor, City of Mount Vernon
  • Mrs. Chloe Demrovsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Disaster Recovery Institute International
  • Mr. Thomas Jenkins, Fire Chief, City of Rogers, AR, Fire Department
  • Dr. Michael Méndez, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Planning & Public Policy, University of California, Irvine
  • Mr. Thomas Munoz, Deputy Director and Emergency Management Coordinator, City of Houston, Office of Emergency Management
  • Ms. Brittany Perkins Castillo, Chief Executive Officer, AshBritt, Inc.
  • Mr. Salvatore Scarpa, Fire-EMS Chief, Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services
  • The Honorable Frank Scott, Mayor, City of Little Rock
  • Mr. Seth Statler, Director of Government Affairs, National Fire Protection Association
  • Mr. David Thomson, Clinical Professor and Medical Director, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University
  • Dr. Michael P. Williams, Sr., Akiak Native Community (IRA) Tribal Judge, Yupiit Nation

The new members will be accompanied by two reappointed members:

  • Mr. Donald Bliss, Vice President, Field Operations (Ret.), National Fire Protection Association
  • Mr. Brian Strong, Chief Resilience Officer and Director, Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, City and County of San Francisco

Council members concluding their terms on Nov. 30, 2023, include:

  • Ms. Jeanne Abadie, PACE, Program Manager, Office of Aging and Adult Services, Louisiana Department of Health
  • Dr. Sue Anne Bell, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  • Ms. Donna Boston, Senior Manager, Business Resilience and Emergency Planning, Southern California Edison
  • Mr. Paul Downing, Indian Township Tribal Council Member, Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township
  • Mr. Jeff Hansen, Director, Office of Emergency Management, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Dr. Anna Lang, Research Engineer, Founder, Zylient
  • Ms. Linda Long, Battalion Chief (Ret.), Philadelphia Fire Department
  • Ms. Tina Titze, Director, South Dakota Office of Emergency Management
  • Mr. James Waskom, Director (Ret.), Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

For additional information on the council, visit

4 Parklane Boulevard
Suite 425
Dearborn, MI 48126

London Office
Tallis House
2 Tallis Street
London, EC4Y 0AB

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