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FEMA appoints first female National Advisory Council Chair

December 5, 2023

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 centred 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.


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