I started humbly: college as a single teen mother and waitressing graveyard shifts to make ends meet. Those challenges fostered my drive to succeed and a desire to help others in crisis. Now, I am the Director of Global Crisis Management and Business Continuity for The Walt Disney Company. There, I lead an enterprise-wide department responsible for developing and implementing culturally-relevant emergency management training programs, exercises, crisis and family assistance operations and employee preparedness initiatives across the globe. Prior to Disney, I served as the External Affairs Director for FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office. There, I oversaw all media, intergovernmental and congressional activities for one of the U.S.’ largest disaster recovery efforts, with a total recovery portfolio of over $25 billion. In my short tenure, my team and I helped restore FEMA’s brand. Prior to my arrival, FEMA received repeated negative press, so my team and I undertook an outreach campaign to regain the public’s trust by engaging the whole community in the recovery efforts. Our grassroots approach was credited with transforming the public’s perception of FEMA; culminated with FEMA participating in over 300 groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies and the local media coining a new acronym- TGFF: Thank God for FEMA.
Prior to FEMA, I served as the Regional Training and Exercise Planner for the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management, was the Emergency Manager for the 12th District of the Federal Reserve, served as the emergency manager for the Salvation Army and was the Executive Director of SF CARD.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Science in Public Health. I am the immediate past-Chair for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Regional Board of Directors, a Tiffany Circle National Council member, a Corporate Board Member for Save the Children and a special advisor for the Dr. Lucy Jones Foundation. I was a 2013 inductee to the Women’s Emergency Management Hall of Fame and was selected in 2018 to be the Inaugural Emergency Manager of the Year by the International Association of Emergency Managers.