Elizabeth M. Harman was nominated as the Assistant Administrator of the Grant Programs Directorate in October 2009 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2010. In this role, she is responsible for the development, administration, implementation, award, and closeout of more than 50 different disaster and non-disaster grant and financial assistance programs, representing approximately $4 billion in non-disaster grant funding annually.
Ms. Harman has over 20 years of experience in the emergency management community, where she has held positions as an administrator, an academic, and a volunteer and career fire fighter paramedic. She most recently came to FEMA from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) where she served as the director of the Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Department for five years. As Director, she managed millions of dollars in federal grants to support the largest HazMat/WMD training program of fire fighters in North America.
At IAFF, she also worked regularly with state and local partners to emphasize health and safety programs, training systems, and firefighting technology. In promoting the needs for hazardous materials response capabilities, she sought solutions for stakeholders by assisting partners navigate toward relevant federal grants.
Throughout her service as both a volunteer and manager in the first responder community, Ms. Harman developed a vast knowledge of the planning, training, and equipment required to perform the duties of a first responder. She has served as a volunteer fire fighter with Prince George’s County, Maryland; a career fire fighter paramedic with the City of Fairfax, Virginia Fire and Rescue Department; and as a member of IAFF local 2702.
As the State Administrator for Exercise and Training for the National Capital Region with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Ms. Harman worked with various local, state, federal, and private sector partners to evaluate the effectiveness of response to both small and large scale disasters. In this capacity, she helped coordinate disaster declarations under the Stafford Act; counsel counties on the assistance that was available to them; and coordinate Emergency Management Assistance Compact requests to provide aid to affected areas. Ms. Harman also led Maryland’s National Management Incident System rollout efforts, and during the catastrophic events of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she served as the State Liaison under the incident management system and coordinated efforts to receive evacuees from affected states.
She has administered fire service training programs and served as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine; the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute; George Washington University, and Northwestern State University.
Ms. Harman holds a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Services from George Washington University, a Master of Science in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Business Administration from California Pacific University.