Associate Administrator, Office of Response and Recovery
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Mr. Smith entered federal civil service in January in 2009, initially serving in Disaster Operations Planning, then leading the agency’s Continuity of Operations program. Mr. Smith is currently the Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator, who oversees FEMA’s Response, Recovery, Logistics and Field Operations Directorates. The Associate Administrator is also responsible for FEMA’s tactical communications and Doctrine and Planning. In his capacity as Senior Advisor, Mr. Smith serves as the chief strategist on program, policy, doctrine and initiatives. He advises executive leadership on readiness for and effective execution of response and recovery operations. To this end, Mr. Smith is standing up a Decision Support Group for day-to-day and crisis response analytical support to senior executives. He is also the Associate Administrator’s emissary throughout FEMA promoting programs and fostering collegial internal collaboration.
Mr. Smith is a graduate of the Emergency Management Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy and most recently he was awarded the FEMA Administrator's Award - Exemplary Emergency Manager – 2015. He deployed to Kyiv, Ukraine as member of US delegation assisting the Government of Ukraine plan for energy resilience for the 2015/16 winter season following the invasion of Crimea and Donbas region and participated in Cabinet-level exercises with the Prime Minister and Ukrainian Parliament members.
Mr. Smith is dual qualified under FEMA’s Qualification System (FQS) in Incident Support and Incident Management. In Incident Support, he is a Resource Capability Branch Director in the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), leading five support groups covering all operations, logistics and ESFs. He has participated in numerous activations including multiple hurricanes, including Isaac and Sandy, winter storms, flooding, tornadoes and Haiti support.
In Incident Management, Mr. Smith is an FQS qualified Division Supervisor and deployed with National Incident Management Assistance Teams to Virginia for Hurricanes Irene, as Operations Section Chief on Staten Island, NY for Hurricane Sandy, and as a Division Supervisor to Georgetown County, South Carolina in 2015 and to Livingston and Ascension Parishes, Louisiana in 2016 for their historic flooding.
Prior to joining FEMA, he completed a 28 year career in the United States Air Force. His varied assignments included operational, staff and command tours in both ground and flying units. Mr. Smith was a Master Air Battle Manager and flight examiner with over 3,300 flight hours in both the AWACS and JSTARS aircraft. He deployed as a Mission Crew Commander on five combat tours to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in 2003-2006, with 120 combat missions and over 1,500 combat flight hours. He additionally served a wartime tour with the United Nations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994 and Operations Southern and Northern Watch flying 55 Combat Support missions in 1992-1996.
While serving with the Air Force, Mr. Smith responded to a number of disasters, including, as military On Scene Commander for the Murrah Federal Building bombing response, managing a shelter for over 1,000 personnel in Mississippi during Hurricane George's and volunteering with nonprofit organizations during the Hurricane Katrina response in Biloxi, Mississippi.
He is a graduate of The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and earned a Masters of Arts in Biology from Harvard University.