In February 2014, Tony Russell became the Acting Administrator for FEMA Region VIII, serving the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Mr. Russell has been with the agency more than a decade serving in a variety of senior positions and brings to his new post a wealth of emergency management knowledge and experience.
Mr. Russell is on hiatus from his duties as the Superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) where he has served since May 2012. In this position, he was responsible for a vast training curriculum for State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers; development of emergency management higher education courses; and training for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster workforce.
Mr. Russell served as FEMA Region VI Regional Administrator from December 2009 to May 2012. In this role, he was responsible for all FEMA operational decisions and policy implementation within the States of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Mr. Russell also served as a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) for Region VIII between 2003 and 2009. In addition to his FCO duties, in 2009, he assumed the role of Acting Director of the FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike, with offices throughout the State, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
As an FCO, Mr. Russell managed FEMA operations in many complex disaster response and recovery operations across the country. He led disaster operations in locations in Alabama, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico, just to name a few. He also assumed executive leadership roles for potential hurricanes in Texas, the Pandemic Influenza Regional Team, and the 2008 National Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Russell holds an undergraduate degree in political science and management from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He earned two Master’s degrees from National University in San Diego, California, in the areas of business and management. He also received a Master of Arts degree in Homeland Security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Mr. Russell is an active member of the emergency management community, including the International Association of Emergency Managers, and he holds the designation of Certified Emergency Manager (CEM).