The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate's (NPD) announced today that Dr. Cortez Lawrence has been named the Director for the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), located in Anniston. Lawrence has served as the Acting CDP Director since July of this year.
From 2001 to 2006, Lawrence served as Director of the National Fire Programs (NFP) Division at the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) within the DHS Preparedness Directorate, where he provided leadership over a multi-billion-dollar program and served as the USFA liaison to three committees of the NFP Association.
In addition, Lawrence has served on special details as NFP Emergency Services Branch Chief and in the Office of the Principal Federal Official at the FEMA Joint Field Office and Area Field Office in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, Lawrence was selected to head the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, Md. as the EMI Superintendent. In this capacity, Lawrence oversaw the Nation's pre-eminent training center for 3.7 million emergency responders, emergency managers, and support personnel through the full-range of prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation education curriculum offered at EMI.
Earlier in his career, Lawrence served as Deputy Director of the Public Safety Department for the City of Auburn, Ala., and worked as a fire marshal for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and at assignments worldwide. He has taught at the National Fire Academy, the City Colleges of Chicago, and Auburn University.
As a retired U.S. Army officer and Vietnam veteran, Lawrence brings 34 years of leadership experience to this important position. The decision to make him the permanent CDP director as a member of the Senior Executive Service, further reflects the level of importance that FEMA places on the CDP and its training mission - more than 395,000 emergency responders have been trained through CDP courses since its inception in 1998.
Lawrence holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration from Auburn University and is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Fellows Program for State and Local Government Executives.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.