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IAEM Think Tank Moderator:
Richard Serino

The Honorable Richard Serino is currently a “Distinguished Visiting Fellow” at Harvard University, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and a Senior Advisor at MIT’s Urban Risk Lab. Mr. Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 8th Deputy Administrator in October 2009 and served until 2014. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, he served as Chief of Boston EMS and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. During his time at FEMA, Mr. Serino traveled all over the country to more than 60 disasters to hear directly from survivors, and build relationships with whole community partners. During his tenure, he saw flooding throughout the Midwest, fires in Colorado and Texas, tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri, tsunami destruction in the American Samoa, and the hurricane stricken areas in the south and along the east coast, including Hurricanes Irene, Isaac and Sandy. Mr. Serino was on scene at the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as the highest-ranking official of DHS.

During Mr. Serino’s time at FEMA, he led the Whole Community and Survivor-centric themes at FEMA and throughout emergency management. The improvements he championed were focused on emphasizing financial accountability, improving the use of analytics to drive decisions, advancing the workforce, and fostering a culture of innovation. Under Mr. Serino’s leadership, FEMA started several notable initiatives, such as FEMA Corps, FEMA Stat, the FEMA Think Tank, a detailed budgetary process, and a Disaster Workforce and Workplace Transformation.

While serving as Chief of Boston EMS, Mr. Serino served as incident commander for more than 35 mass casualty incidents and for all of Boston's major planned events, including the Boston Marathon, Boston's Fourth of July celebration, First Night, and the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Mr. Serino attended Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2000, completed the Kennedy School's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in 2005, and graduated from the Executive Leadership Program, Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Serino has received numerous local, national and international awards for heroism, leadership and innovation.