Mr. Damon Penn began serving as the Assistant Administrator of the National Continuity Programs (NCP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in September 2009, where he is responsible for ensuring the Executive Branch of government can function under all conditions. He is also responsible for refining continuity at all levels of government. Mr. Penn also deployed to Haiti as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) task force leader for assistance to the survivors of the 2010 earthquake and served as FEMA’s Deputy Director of Operations for Hurricane Sandy in 2011. He joined NCP after retiring from the U.S. Army as a Colonel. His military career included senior staff positions, leadership of an advisory team in Iraq, and brigade and battalion commands.
Mr. Penn’s association with FEMA began in 2004 when he served as the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) for Florida. There he was part of the FEMA emergency response team, responsible for all Department of Defense (DoD) assets, providing millions of pounds of relief supplies and other forms of support to assist the Florida emergency management effort. He also served as the DCO the following year in support of Mississippi’s efforts during Hurricane Katrina.
Prior to joining NCP, Mr. Penn spent more than two years as the Director of Operations for the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), National Capitol Region and the United States. While leading the JFHQ, Mr. Penn oversaw intelligence, operations, force protection/anti-terrorism, planning, operations center, training, ceremonies, and security for the largest and most influential directorate in the command. Mr. Penn worked directly with local, state, and federal partners to reinforce the DoD’s role as a supporter of the lead federal agency during a crisis. During his time at the JFHQ, Mr. Penn directed numerous national security events, including the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, two State of the Union addresses, and official visits from Queen Elizabeth and Pope Benedict XVI.
Additionally, during his 30-plus years with the U.S. Army, Mr. Penn held numerous other leadership positions, including U.S. Army Advisor to the Iraqi National Police, Commander of the Training Support Brigade in Fort Knox, KY; Armor Branch Chief at U.S. Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, VA; Inspector General with the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, TX; as well as Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor, 4th Infantry Division, also at Fort Hood, TX.
Mr. Penn has received several top honors during his distinguished career with the military; including, two Legion of Merit awards, the Bronze Star Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, five Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, and the Combat Action Badge, among many other honors and awards.
Mr. Penn studied at the U.S. Navy War College, earning a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2003. He also earned a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University in 1993 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in 1981.