Room packed with FEMA employees watching a hurricane report on TV

Cadres are groups of employees organized by type of work. These groups are based on skills and experience and play a key role in keeping FEMA ready to deploy the right people to the right jobs quickly in disaster response and recovery operations.

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Cadre Descriptions

Review the 23 cadres listed below to find the best fit for you.

You can search by keyword or cadre name.

The Acquisitions (ACQ) cadre provides timely, full-range purchase and procurement services in support of disaster operations. ACQ reviews program requirement requests to determine the most appropriate and effective contractual approach, publicizes requirements to offerors, evaluates proposals to determine technically acceptable solutions, legally enters the agency into contractual agreements for goods or services, monitors and measures contractor performance, and closes contracts.


  • Contracting
  • Portfolio Management
  • Industry Engagement
  • Quality Assurance
  • Procurement Support

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) cadre helps people before, during, and after conflict. ADR accomplishes this by providing a variety of dispute resolution services, trainings, and presentations, as requested, to FEMA employees at all levels, external partners, and stakeholders to help them manage, resolve, and prevent conflict. By reducing conflict, the FEMA workforce, partners, and stakeholders will be better able to maintain focus on FEMA’s mission of helping people before, during, and after disasters.


  • 4-year degree
  • 300 hours of conflict resolution practice training
  • Five (5) years of experience providing Ombud’s services, mediation, coaching, facilitation, and similar 3rd party neutral processes in the workplace

An advanced degree may be substituted for 100 hours of training and two (2) years of experience.

  • Work experience should include a variety of non-EEO, informal, ADR processes such as coaching, facilitation, mediation, team building, workgroup, Ombud’s, conciliation, group participation (Arbitration, other third-party decision-making ADR processes, and EEO mediation are not processes used in this position and may not be used to meet the minimum required years of dispute resolution experience)
  • Experience conducting non-academic skill development training in conflict resolution or organizational Ombud’s techniques such as mediation, facilitation, coaching, and other conflict resolution or organizational Ombud’s techniques
  • Self-awareness about how your communications land on others, and to accept feedback non-defensively
  • High level of computer literacy and proficient use of a wide array of software applications, including but not limited to, the Microsoft Office suite of programs, including Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, and Lync

The Disability Integration (DI) cadre deploys to disaster sites to support the integration of individuals with disabilities into all FEMA programs and activities. DI achieves this by engaging state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, working collaboratively with stakeholder organizations, and by providing technical assistance and advice to FEMA leadership.


  • Extensive knowledge of disability related civil rights laws and regulations as well as demonstrated experience in providing guidance on disability programmatic access
  • Experience in Emergency Management with complete understanding of at least one of the following areas: Command and General Staff, Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, Housing, Mass Care, and Recovery
  • Experience in program and data analysis as well as program planning and management

The Disaster Emergency Communications (DEC) cadre deploys, installs, operates, maintains, and protects telecommunications and operations assets in response to all-hazards disasters and in support of planned special events. They install maintain and protect telecommunications equipment, facilitate interoperable communications, and aid in evaluating post-disaster communication needs.


  • Knowledge of telecommunications equipment and procedures
  • Experience working with federal, state, and local emergency management officials
  • Basic computer skills and the ability to learn new programs quickly
  • Flexibility to a changing environment
  • Multi-tasking and problem-solving skills

The Disaster Field Training Operations (DFTO) cadre is a professional team of communicators that specialize in all things training. The cadre works throughout FEMA to improve employee performance through training.


  • Extensive knowledge of principles, techniques, and methodologies of adult education to plan, develop, design, and deliver instruction
  • Experiential knowledge of instructional methods and techniques
  • Knowledge of FEMA national policies and publications in order to instruct, advise, coach and mentor staff
  • Experience monitoring and evaluating student learning
  • Skill with using Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint, Adobe Connect, and Deployment Tracking System sites in order to download curriculum and other training data
  • Ability to communicate clearly in an influential and persuasive manner, tailoring language, tone, and level of specificity to the audience and medium
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple demands and projects efficiently
  • Experience with building effective partnerships and collaborative working relationships, including navigating differences and resolving conflicts

The Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) cadre is the "boots on the ground" Cadre. DSA establishes a timely presence at every disaster, primarily focusing on addressing the needs of disaster survivors by collecting targeted information to support leadership and operational decision-making, providing accessible, in-person case-specific information and referrals, providing referrals to whole community partners, as needed, and identifying disability-inclusive public information needs so strategic messaging can be developed and disseminated.


  • Good communication and listening skills in order to support survivors affected by a disaster
  • Ability to work on your feet canvassing communities to register disaster survivors for FEMA assistance programs (Positions require standing and walking for extended periods of time)
  • Basic knowledge on the use of electronic tablets and software applications
  • Ability to respond to a request to activate and travel to a field office within 24 to 48 hours (a typical deployment may last 30 days or more depending on the need)

The Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) cadre at FEMA plays a crucial role in ensuring that disaster response and recovery projects comply with federal environmental and historic preservation laws. EHP assesses the potential impacts of FEMA-funded activities on natural and cultural resources, facilitating the integration of environmental and historic preservation considerations into emergency management and recovery efforts. EHP’s work includes coordinating with local, state, tribal, and federal partners to protect sensitive environments and historic sites during disaster relief and recovery operations, helping to balance the need for swift response with the preservation of important environmental and historical assets.


  • Written and verbal communication
  • Ability to work independently and in a team setting
  • Public speaking
  • Working knowledge of computer applications (databases, Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) applications, shape files, and mapping programs
  • Experience using Microsoft office products, such as Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Experience completing environmental compliance reviews for state or federal agencies
  • Specialized experience or education in Environmental, Historic Preservation, Archeology, Architecture, History, and Science is a plus

The Civil Rights (CVR) cadre supports the FEMA mission by ensuring that, as an agency, we sustain our commitment to equal and civil rights by preventing discrimination in assistance to survivors and providing programs, services, and benefits to employees and survivors without discrimination. CVR Advisors analyze data to provide guidance on Title VI (non-discrimination) to FEMA program areas and leadership, ensuring compliance with applicable civil rights statutes, while also performing risk analysis throughout all phases of the disaster cycle. CVR also participates in community outreach and engagement to share information and learn more about barriers being experienced by disaster survivors and their communities. Through this and other work, FEMA is better able to provide equal access to its programs for disaster survivors before, during, and after disasters. 


  • At least 1 year of equal employment or civil rights experience applying the principles, concepts, and strategies of equal employment and/or civil rights (5 years of experience for lead positions)
  • American Sign Language Interpreter (Basic) and/or Sighted Assistant Trained
  • 1-year minimum experience applying effective leadership principles as a supervisor
  • Knowledge of the Office of Equal Rights (OER) essential functions

The External Affairs (EA) cadre engages stakeholders in Congress; the media; state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; the private sector; and internal FEMA employees during incidents and steady state. EA provides the information necessary to make informed decisions as we work together to build, sustain, and improve our national capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


  • Analysis of traditional and digital media
  • Interfacing with state and local government officials
  • Communication with the business sector, non-governmental organizations, and academia
  • Exceptionally strong writing and verbal skills
  • Photography/Videography
  • Research
  • Communications planning
  • Public speaking
  • Understanding of federal statutes, regulations, and policies

The Field Leadership Cadre (Federal Coordinating Officers, Chiefs of Staff, Analytics Advisor, Executive Specialists) leads the federal response and recovery effort and is responsible for assuring that all federal assistance is provided in accordance with the Presidential Disaster Declaration, laws, regulations, agreements and policies. The Cadre makes initial appraisals of types of relief most urgently needed, establishes necessary field offices, and coordinates the response, recovery and mitigation support to state and local governments, and nonprofit and relief organizations.

As responsible stewards of federal resources, the Field Leadership Cadre applies data and analysis to drive responsive decision making to reduce the administrative and bureaucratic burdens that imped impacted individuals and communities from quickly receiving the assistance they need.  The Field Leadership Cadre uses the Outcome Driven Recovery process that promotes unity of effort among all stakeholders to identify recovery needs, visions, goals, and comprehensive solutions. This approach supports state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in developing the capability to plan for, manage, and execute community-based and holistic long-term recovery solutions.


  • Experience serving in a senior leadership position in an Incident Command structure
  • Experience Leading and managing significant numbers of staff in a range of demanding emergency situations
  • Integrating resources into a unified or combined approach to respond to and recover from any type of disaster, emergency, or event
  • Proven problem solving and crisis communication skills in a politically sensitive environment
  • Leading and developing strategic objectives within a multi-stakeholder environment to achieve desired outcomes
  • Experience working as an administrative professional assisting a high-level senior executive
  • Experience implementing administrative policies and programs
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