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Job: Deputy Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Anybody can apply!

by Eric Holdeman / June 28, 2020

See this job announcement for the deputy's position in Massachusetts, MEMA Deputy Director.

What surprised me a bit was the description of qualifications:

"Applicants must have at least (A) six (6) years of full-time or, equivalent part-time, professional, administrative, supervisory, or managerial experience in business administration, business management, public administration, public management, clinical administration or clinical management of which (B) at least two (2) years must have been in a project management, supervisory or managerial capacity or (C) any equivalent combination of the required experience and substitutions below."

Where's the emergency management experience? If you are just looking for an administrator — OK, but I don't find that as a wise choice in our profession of emergency management. I would not want someone who can only spell "emergency management" as my deputy director. 

Here's the responsibilities:

"This position serves as a key member of the Executive Staff and supports emergency operations, planning, and recovery. With input from the Director, the Deputy Director helps to coordinate the agency’s response to any emergency incident as it occurs, including but not limited to, natural, technological, nuclear, or manmade disasters.  The Deputy Director works with the Director to establish, prioritize and manage those activities associated with emergency planning and preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation program elements. By such efforts, the agency employs a framework within which the Commonwealth and its communities learn to reduce their vulnerability to hazards and improve their capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made events.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP, POLICY ENGAGEMENT, STRATEGIC PLANNING — Provide senior leadership and advisement across the organization. The Deputy Director will lead strategic planning initiatives, including performance tracking and measurement, support and lead policy and legislative initiatives, and provide overall senior leadership and management to the organization. In this capacity, the Deputy Director will be the principle advisor to the Director and work in close coordination with the agency’s functional Assistant Directors.

REGIONAL PLANNING AND COORDINATION — Coordinate with personnel engaged in regional and local coordination of emergency planning, response, recovery, and mitigation program elements to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated response to an emergency/disaster at the state level. This includes extensive strategic planning, managing assignments and directing job performance activities as they relate to the accomplishment of the agency’s goals and objectives. Additionally, this position oversees the Regional Managers with appropriate delegation of responsibilities and assignments.

DISASTER RECOVERY AND MITIGATION — Help to coordinate the disaster recovery and mitigation programs to restore critical community functions and manage reconstruction activities. Serve as senior policy advisor to the Director for risk analysis and pre- and post-disaster recovery plans. Serve as liaison with local, state, and federal agencies.

AGENCY OPERATIONS — Oversee the day-to-day coordination of operations within the agency. Reviews, analyzes and advises the Director on significant events and their impact on daily operations. Serves as a key conduit between the Director and management personnel to ensure continuity of effort and strategic alignment.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC) / RESPONSE COORDINATION — Provide oversight for the maintenance and ongoing operations of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This includes coordinating efforts of the Operations Chief, related Senior Staff, representatives from Massachusetts Emergency Management Team (MEMT) agencies, and Governor’s office and other state officials during EOC activations and response operations."

Maybe they have someone in mind who is terrific, but lacking emergency management experience. In my humble opinion that is a disaster waiting to happen! What leadership needs to be able to do is anticipate problems and have the organization ready to counter them — before they occur. You can only do that when you have experience — in the field of emergency management. 

Maybe this is a good topic for a future IAEM Bulletin column. 


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