Major General (Retired) Steve Saunders currently serves as the Executive Director of Readiness and Assessment in the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA. He provides leadership to the FEMA Readiness Assessment Program and is responsible for implementing a framework for collecting, analyzing and translating data into information to improve the Agency’s operations. This includes planning and facilitation of a variety of evaluation and assessment activities to provide Agency leadership with objective evaluation of FEMA component readiness, efficiency and effectiveness. The FEMA Readiness Assessment Program enables the FEMA Administrator and leaders of reporting organizations to uniformly determine and accurately report an overall level of readiness by FEMA to fulfill its disaster response and recovery missions.
Before joining FEMA, Saunders served as the Director, Doctrine, Training and Force Development (J7) at the National Guard Bureau. In that capacity he led the creation of several national level programs that enhanced the Guard’s ability to provide support to civilian authorities. As a National Guard officer, he responded to local and state-wide disasters and helped coordinate the National Guard response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. He also owned a human resource and management consulting practice that provided management and organizational development guidance to city, county and state government leaders along with a host of other clients ranging from health care to financial institutions.
His international experience includes facilitating a workshop between FEMA, the Government of Sweden, the European Union and the private sector on the effects of Space Weather. He also facilitated a workshop between FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) and the Russian Federation Emergency Management Command related to international classification of US&R teams. Saunders other international experience includes serving as deputy commander of operations for a multi-national brigade in Kosovo, providing border control liaison with Serbia and Macedonia, presidential election monitoring in Macedonia, and providing organizational development support to the ministry of defense in Afghanistan. His private sector experience includes organizational development leadership in the public utility industry where he helped implement several corporate mergers and acquisitions.
MG (Ret) Saunders holds a masters degree in strategic studies from the U. S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA; a master’s degree in administrative studies – human resources from the University of South Dakota, and a bachelors degree in broadcasting and business from Minnesota State University. He has studied career development and management development at the University of Michigan and he is certified by the Society of Human Resource Management as a Senior Professional, Human Resources. He completed the U.S. - Russia Security Program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government as well as post-graduate studies in counterterrorism at the Lauder School of Government in Herzilya, Israel.
Steve and his wife, Connie, reside in Alexandria, Virginia