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VDEM announces departure of State Coordinator Curtis Brown

Virginia Department of Emergency ManagementThe Virginia Department of Emergency Management today announced the departure of State Coordinator Curtis Brown.

Appointed to the position by Gov. Ralph Northam in June 2020, Brown led the agency during its most active period in history. He has served in homeland security and emergency management roles in three gubernatorial administrations.

During his appointment as state coordinator, he led the agency during numerous events including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hurricane responses, civil unrest/protests, the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, and several special events and efforts, such as the Afghan Repatriation. During the summer of 2020, he led the coordination of three simultaneous disaster declarations.

Brown has served at VDEM for six years helping to lead a re-organization that improved processes and increased the agency’s capacity to respond to more frequent and impactful disaster events. A national thought leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion in emergency management, Brown has been at the forefront of using data-driven metrics to drive equitable support to under-resourced and disproportionately impacted communities and individuals.

“It has been an honor to work with the dedicated team at VDEM. They have been willing to innovate and go the extra mile to equitably serve Virginians and our local government partners. We have been able to partner with our federal, state, local, private and non-profit emergency management stakeholders to collaboratively respond to numerous challenges,” Brown said.

“Essential to our efforts has been the integration of equity in emergency management. I am proud that VDEM has served as a model for operationalizing equity and prioritizing the needs of those communities and individuals most at-risk. As we continue to face the threat of climate change and more frequent disasters, I know that these efforts will help to reduce suffering and build resilience in frontline communities.”

Through Brown’s leadership, VDEM established the new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the first in the nation at a State Emergency Agency, which will spearhead internal and external agency initiatives to achieve goals outlined in the strategic roadmap.

In coordination with the COVID-19 Health Equity Leadership Taskforce, Brown led efforts to equitably distribute personal protective equipment through the Health Equity Pilot Project, conduct hyperlocal vaccine outreach efforts in marginalized communities, and support equity training for Unified Command and local government partners.

augusta free press
augusta free press