ADVISORS

Each publication is enriched with the insights and perspectives provided by our advisors. Selected based on their expertise across the broad topic areas covered by the scope of the publication, advisors serve a one-year term, in which they participate by sharing topic ideas, reviewing submitted content, participating in discussions, and submitting their own content.

Caroline Agarabi

Interdisciplinary Scientist and Policy Advisor, Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Caroline Agarabi, Ph.D., is a biomedical and pharmaceutical scientist with expertise in the medicinal chemistry of natural products. She serves as an interdisciplinary scientist at the United States Department of Health and Human Service, Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At ASPR, she develops requirements for medical countermeasures intended for procurement by the U.S. government and the Strategic National Stockpile. Her work also contributes to the development of capabilities, strategic policy options and alternatives, and operational planning for disaster scenarios, including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats as well as emerging and infectious diseases. 

Desiree Baccus

Director and Chief Marketing Officer for Rocky Mountain Ham Radio

Desiree Baccus, N3DEZ, is a dedicated emergency management professional with a passion for amateur radio. She plays vital roles in many amateur radio and emergency response groups, such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and NASA Ames Research Center’s Disaster Assistance & Rescue Team (DART), showcasing her expertise and dedication to emergency communications. She also has served as the secretary and vice chair for the Colorado Federal Executive Board (CFEB) Emergency Preparedness Council (EPC), where she worked toward enhancing emergency response capabilities in her state. As a member of the Amateur Radio Relay League’s (ARRL) Public Relations Committee, she promotes amateur radio and its benefits to the public. Her previous roles include video production control coordinator and supply chain manager of IT warehouse safety officer at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, source evaluation board recorder at NASA Glenn Research Center, and administrative specialist for the Office of the Center Director at NASA Ames Research Center.

Raphael Barishansky

EMS/Public Health Consultant, RMB Consulting Services LLC

Raphael M. Barishansky, DrPH, is a public health and emergency medical services (EMS) leader with more than 30 years of experience in a variety of systems and agencies in positions of increasing responsibility. Currently, he is a consultant providing his unique perspective and multi-faceted public health and EMS expertise to various organizations. His most recent position prior to this was as the Deputy Secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a role he recently left after several years. Mr. Barishansky recently completed a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Touro College, a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College, and a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies from Long Island University. His publications have appeared in various trade and academic journals, and he is a frequent presenter at various state, national, and international conferences.

Michael Breslin

Director, Strategic Client Relations, Federal Law Enforcement, LexisNexis Special Services Inc.

Michael Breslin is a retired federal law enforcement senior executive with 24 years of law enforcement and homeland security experience. He served as the deputy assistant director in the Office of Investigations focusing on the integrated mission of investigations and protection with oversight of 162 domestic and foreign field offices. He served as the event coordinator for the National Special Security Event Papal visit to Philadelphia in September 2015 and was appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security to serve as the federal coordinator for the Papal Visit to the Mexico-U.S. Border in 2016. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is a published author of numerous articles on homeland security, defense, and threat mitigation methods. He serves on the Cyber Investigations Advisory Board of the U.S. Secret Service and is a Board Member for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He also serves on the Preparedness Leadership Council. He has a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Queens, NY, an M.S. in National Security Strategy and a Graduate Certificate in Business Transformation and Decision Making from The Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and an MPA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Paul Cope

Director of the Master of Science in Homeland Security: Law and Policy Program, University of Kansas Law School

Paul Cope joined the University of Kansas Law School as the director of the Master of Science in Homeland Security: Law and Policy Program in 2021. He previously served as the chief of Cyber Law and Policy for the Kansas National Guard. As the lead cyber legal advisor, he provided legal guidance to leaders, addressing and developing national security policy and procedures to include cyber and intelligence incident responses. His former service with the Kansas National Guard includes appointment as the legal advisor (chief counsel) to the adjutant general of Kansas. He continues to serve as a judge advocate in the Kansas Army National Guard, where he holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Pittsburg State University in 2006 and a J.D. from Washburn University School of Law in 2009.

Robert DesRosier Sr.

Director of Disaster and Emergency Services, Blackfeet Nation

Robert DesRosier Sr. is the director of the Blackfeet Nation’s Disaster and Emergency Services and was elected to the Tribal Business Council in May 2023. With decades of emergency response experience, he manages large-scale daily operations in addition to responding to major incidents. Following the 9/11 attacks, he became the first director of the tribe’s new Homeland Security program. He also served as the tribe’s COVID-19 incident commander when the pandemic emerged. The Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana, covers 1.5 million acres and spans about 60 miles of the Canada-U.S. border. As such, the Blackfeet Nation’s Emergency Services provides routine disaster and homeland security services, including air and land patrols for reconnaissance and surveillance of human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorist threats, and other illegal activities.

Nathan DiPillo

Critical Infrastructure Analyst, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Nathan DiPillo currently serves as a California Governor’s Office appointee assigned to the California Office of Emergency Services as a Critical Infrastructure Analyst in the State Threat Assessment Center. Before state service, he functioned as a critical infrastructure specialist with the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). He also spent over 15 years with the Transportation Security Administration, where he assisted in standing up the agency with policy development, training, and recruitment. He has over 25 years in the emergency management and security industry, beginning as a resident firefighter/emergency medical technician. He also served with the California State Military Department, and Army National Guard in the 223rd Training Command ending his career as a Sergeant First Class. During that time, he served in many units, finishing his career attached to the 102nd Military Police Training Division in an Opposition Force Unit. He currently serves on a small-town planning commission and assisted in coordinating an emergency family communications group in his local area. He possesses a Master of Emergency Management/Homeland Security from the National University and other Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and military certifications.

Kay C. Goss

President, World Disaster Management

Kay Goss has been the president of World Disaster Management since 2012. She is the former senior assistant to two state governors, coordinating fire service, emergency management, emergency medical services, public safety, and law enforcement for 12 years. She then served as the Associate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director for National Preparedness, Training, Higher Education, Exercises, and International Partnerships (presidential appointee, U.S. Senate confirmed unanimously). She was a private sector government contractor for 12 years, at the Texas firm, Electronic Data Systems as senior emergency manager and homeland security advisor and SRA International‚Äôs director of emergency management services. She is a senior fellow at the National Academy for Public Administration and serves as a nonprofit leader on the Board of Advisors for DRONERESPONDERS International and for the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management. She also has been a graduate professor of Emergency Management at University of Nevada at Las Vegas for 16 years, ńįstanbul Technical University for 12 years, the MPA Programs Metropolitan College of New York for five years, and George Mason University. She has been a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) for 25 years and a Featured International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) CEM Mentor for five years, and chair of the Training and Education Committee for six years, 2004-2010.

Charles Guddemi

Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, Operations Division, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

Charles Guddemi is the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency’s (HSEMA) statewide interoperability coordinator (SWIC). He is responsible for coordinating interoperability and communications projects involving voice, data, and video. He chairs the District’s Interoperable Communications Committee and Cellular Industry/WiFi Provider Working Group. He serves as the secretary for the Statewide Interoperability Executives Council, is a member of the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators and current co-chair of FEMA’s Region III Regional Emergency Communications Coordinators Working Group. He also participates on several Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) committees and working groups. He joined HSEMA after a 25-year career with the United States Park Police (USPP). His assignments included working in Washington, D.C., New York Field Office, San Francisco Field Office, and the National Park Service Northeast Regional Headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He achieved the rank of deputy chief serving as the commander of the Services Division.

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Robert C. Hutchinson

Director, Black Swans Consulting LLC

Robert C. Hutchinson is a director at Black Swans Consulting LLC. Before joining the private sector, he was the chief of police for the Broward County Public School Special Investigative Unit, where he was responsible for conducting and overseeing criminal and administrative investigations involving over 34,000 district employees. He retired after over 28 years as a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. His positions included deputy director, assistant director, deputy special agent in charge, assistant special agent in charge, supervisory special agent, and special agent at offices in Florida, Washington, DC (HQ), Maryland, and Texas.  He was the deputy director of his agency’s national emergency preparedness division and assistant director for its national firearms and tactical training division. His over 40 publications and many domestic and international presentations addressed the important need for cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between the fields of public health, emergency management, and law enforcement, especially in the area of pandemic preparedness. He received his graduate degrees at the University of Delaware in public administration and Naval Postgraduate School in homeland security studies.

Rhonda Lawson

Major, Texas Department of Public Safety

Rhonda Lawson is a major in the chief’s office of the Texas Highway Patrol (THP) Division. She began her 27-year career with the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1997 as a trooper, then moved through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. In 2012, Lawson transferred to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) as captain and deputy Operations Section coordinator, serving as the division’s THP liaison. In 2015, she directed and administered the State Management Team’s operations. In 2016, Lawson was promoted to major and Operations Section coordinator for the Emergency Management Council in the Texas State Operations Center during state-level activations. In 2019, when TDEM became an independent agency under the Texas A&M University System, she transferred to the THP Division, where she is the THP-TDEM liaison and oversees the Highway Safety Operations Center. A native of Washington, D.C., she has a B.S. in criminal justice from the University of North Texas and is completing her master’s in emergency management. She holds a Master Peace Officer Certification, is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), serves on the All-Hazard Incident Management Team Association’s Law Enforcement Committee, and is a member of the Texas Emergency Management Advisory Committee and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

Joseph J. Leonard Jr.

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard (ret.)

Joe Leonard, CDR (ret.), is a nationally recognized emergency responder, incident manager, and trainer with 44 years of U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, volunteer municipal fire service, and private-sector experience responding to natural disasters, oil spills, hazardous materials releases, marine fires, mass rescue operations, mass care and shelter events, national special security events, and maritime homeland security events. He is currently the president and chief executive officer of the Unified Services Consulting Group, LLC. He was recognized with the prestigious U.S. Navy League‚Äôs Captain David H. Jarvis Award for Inspirational Leadership and was named a Fox News ‚ÄúPower Player of the Week‚ÄĚ on 11 September 2005 for his services as the FEMA-designated Area Commander-Houston Area Mega-Shelter Operations following landfall of Hurricane Katrina. He holds certifications as a Master Exercise Practitioner, Master Continuity Professional, Certified Emergency Manager, Coast Guard Emergency Management Credential, Certified Homeland Protection Professional, and Certified Port Executive. He has a bachelor‚Äôs degree in history from the Virginia Military Institute and a master‚Äôs degree in engineering technology from Murray State University. He is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Executive and Advanced Academies.

Ann Lesperance

Director, Northwest Regional Technology Center at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Northeastern University Seattle

Ann Lesperance is the director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Northwest Regional Technology Center for Homeland Security (NWRTC). She is on a joint appointment to Northeastern University-Seattle where she leads efforts to build the master’s program in Security and Resilience Studies and Urban Informatics. In this role, she was awarded a Faculty Affiliate appointment with Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. Additionally, she was invited to join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Applied Research Topics for Hazard Mitigation and Resilience. The committee identifies applied research topics, information, and expertise to inform the science of natural hazard mitigation and resilience and enables applications of science, data, and technology. In all her roles, her primary focus is developing partnerships and programs to accelerate the demonstration and deployment of new homeland security technologies. To accomplish this, she works with state and local emergency responders and public safety officials to understand and prioritize their operational needs and requirements. She builds regional coalitions of emergency management professionals to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies and manages program implementation in the field. She is a recognized leader in response, recovery, and resiliency issues and brings this expertise to concurrent projects, assessing the technology landscape, connecting with stakeholders, and envisioning the future for first responders and emergency management.

Anthony S. Mangeri

Chief Operating Officer/Principal, Mangeri Group, LLC

Anthony S. Mangeri, MPA, CPM, CEM, is the chief operating officer and principal at the Mangeri Group, LLC, and president of the International Association of Emergency Managers’ (IAEM) Region 2. He currently serves on the IAEM-USA board of directors and is a board member of the Philadelphia InfraGard Members Alliance. Before the Mangeri Group, LLC, Anthony was the assistant vice president for Mitigation and Resilience at The Olson Group Ltd. Before that, he served as a town manager, where he navigated the community through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, was responsible for local emergency preparedness, disaster recovery operations, and played a key role in the establishment of a municipal police department. Anthony also served as the New Jersey State Hazard Mitigation Officer for over a decade. During the response and recovery to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he was the operations chief at the New Jersey Emergency Operations Center, where he coordinated the state’s response efforts. Beyond his professional achievements, Anthony has committed over 35 years to serving as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University and has completed a fellowship in Public Health Leadership in Emergency Response. As a Certified Professional Coach, Anthony continues to contribute his knowledge and expertise to the emergency management community.

Sadie Martinez

Access and Functional Needs Coordinator, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Sadie Martinez is the Colorado State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management‚Äôs Access and Functional Needs Coordinator. She supports state agencies and local jurisdictions in the development of inclusive, whole community emergency-operations plans that adequately account for people with access and functional needs. She provides emergency-preparedness workshops and serves as the access and functional needs subject matter expert during state-level planning initiatives. Sadie uses the CMIST resource framework, which provides a whole-community inclusion approach to identify the actual resource needs of the community in Communication, Maintaining Health/Medical, Independence, Support Services and Safety, and Transportation (CMIST) resources, rather than a specific ‚Äúspecial need‚ÄĚ or vulnerability. This helps responders and agencies better understand what capabilities to acquire before, during, and after a disaster by approaching access and functional needs from a resource perspective. It also helps create a shared language that reaches across language, disability, under-resourced, under-served barriers, and emergency management.

Kesley Richardson

Adjunct Professor, Loyola University in Chicago and Nova Southeastern University

Kesley Richardson, DPA, is a U.S. Virgin Islands native, scholar, public speaker, researcher, and practitioner in emergency management and is an adjunct professor at Loyola University in Chicago, Nova Southeastern University, and Texas Southern University. Previous roles included Region 6 recovery coordinator at the Florida Division of Emergency Management, emergency management coordinator for Hillsborough County (Florida), emergency management healthcare coordinator and research fellow for the William Averette Anderson Fund (BAF) for Hazard and Disaster Mitigation Education and Research, and test, training, and exercise program coordinator for Jogan Health. He is part of organizations such as the International Association of Emergency Managers, Black Emergency Managers Association, Florida Public Health Association, and Florida Emergency Preparedness Association and networks with like-minded professionals to make an actionable change and cultivate action-based research. With his diverse background, Dr. Richardson leverages his achievements and passions to support his goal of cultivating a more diverse and accessible field of emergency management.

Tanya Scherr

Associate Professor in Healthcare Administration, University of Arizona

Tanya Scherr holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a Healthcare and Emergency Preparedness focus. She is an associate professor in Healthcare Administration for the University of Arizona ‚Äď Global Campus and has over 28 years‚Äô healthcare experience. Along with being a Certified Fraud Examiner since 2011, she is also a former firefighter-EMT, previously licensed in several states, as well as holding national certification. Dr. Scherr has held several executive and board of director positions for community non-profits that focus on women‚Äôs equality, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Richard Schoeberl

Program Chair & Director of Graduate Studies, Criminology and Homeland Security, The University of Tennessee Southern

Richard Schoeberl, Ph.D., has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He has served in a variety of positions throughout his career, ranging from a supervisory special agent at the FBI‚Äôs headquarters in Washington, DC, to unit chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section at the NCTC‚Äôs headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Before these organizations, he worked as a special agent investigating violent crime, human trafficking, international terrorism, and organized crime. He was also assigned numerous collateral duties during his FBI tour ‚Äď including as a certified instructor and member of the agency‚Äôs SWAT program. In addition to the FBI and NCTC, he is an author and has served as a media contributor for Fox News, CNN, PBS, NPR, Al-Jazeera Television, Al Arabiva Television, Al Hurra, and Sky News in Europe. Additionally, he has authored numerous scholarly articles, serves as a peer mentor with the Police Executive Research Forum, is currently a professor of Criminology and Homeland Security at the University of Tennessee-Southern, and works with Hope for Justice ‚Äď a global nonprofit combatting human trafficking.

Mary Schoenfeldt

Board President, Green Cross Academy of Traumatology

Mary Schoenfeldt, Ph.D., is the board president of Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and has responded to countless disasters. She is an emergency management professional specializing in community and school crises and has a passion for disaster psychology. She is a faculty member of FEMA Emergency Management Institute, an adjunct faculty at Pierce College, and a subject matter expert for the U.S. Department of Education. She also serves clients through her consulting business. She can be reached at yoursafeplace@msn.com 

Lynda Zambrano

Executive Director and Founder, National Tribal Emergency Management Council

Lynda Zambrano currently serves as executive director of the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council and the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC). She is an adjunct professor at Pierce College, Centers of Excellence for Homeland Security, authoring and teaching the Grants Writing and Management curriculum. She began her career in law enforcement 20 years ago, working with federal, state, local, and tribal governments. She has served as health director for several Tribal Nations, which provided a unique perspective to bring together different disciplines to work together in emergency management. She has an extensive background in finance, contracts management, and audit compliance. She is a grants writer, assisting with securing more than 100 grants and tens of millions of dollars for Tribal Nations in Washington state and across the country. She has received recognition for her work in Indian Country from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. She was inducted into the International Association of Women in Emergency Management’s Hall of Fame. She helped co-found the Fresh Food Coalition and oversees food and supplies distribution in 35 states to over three million people.

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