Brian Kamoie '93
Winner of 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Photo courtesy of FEMA/Aaron Skolnik
In some fashion, Brian Kamoie ’93 has been at the heart of era-defining disasters for the last several years, a good thing for anyone affected by the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, the Japanese nuclear emergency of 2011 or the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. In positions with the White House National Security Staff (NSS) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Brian supported the responses to these tragedies.
After graduating from Dickinson with a B.A. in policy studies and political science, Brian earned a law degree and master’s degrees in public health and political science from George Washington University (GWU), where he was managing editor of The George Washington Law Review. Brian went on to become an associate professor of health policy and health services management and leadership at GWU’s School of Public Health and Health Services and a 2009 senior fellow of the school’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. He also served on the adjunct faculty from 2006 to 2013.
While serving in that capacity, Brian was the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response and director of the HHS/ASPR Office of Policy, Strategic Planning & Communications, where he spearheaded the development and implementation of key national policies, including the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act and the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.
Brian then served as senior director for preparedness policy on the NSS from 2009 to 2013, leading a team of professionals in the development of national preparedness and emergency policy.
“Our role was focused on advising the president and his senior staff—working with federal departments and agencies to develop good policy and then managing incidents as they occur,” he says of his role, for which he was recognized for outstanding service as part of the national security staff H1N1 pandemic influenza team and Japan nuclear-emergency team. “The guiding principle is, hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
In April 2013, Brian was appointed by President Obama as assistant administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for grant programs, where he now oversees more than $17 billion in grant programs related to disasters and emergencies, whether naturally occurring or manmade.
“I am in awe every day,” Brian says. “The chance to do meaningful work with exceptionally smart people who are committed to public service is a rare opportunity for which I am grateful.”
Brian and his wife, Laura ’92, have been members of the John Dickinson Society for nearly 10 years and previously chaired the Washington, D.C., alumni club. Brian also has served on the Alumni Council, the Board of Trustees and the D.C. regional cabinet. He remains active in alumni networking events, has gone to high-school college fairs as an admissions representative and worked with the Career Center to help place and provide career counseling to students and alumni.