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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 an emergency management situation.

Cadre Descriptions

Review the 23 cadres listed below to find the best fit for you and email FEMA Careers for more information.

Search by keyword or cadre name.


The Acquisitions (ACQ) cadre provides timely, full-range acquisition services in support of disaster operations. They review program requirement requests to determine the most appropriate and effective contractual approach, publicize requirements to offerors, evaluate proposals to determine technically acceptable solutions, legally enter the agency into contractual agreements for goods or services, monitor and measure contractor performance, and close contracts.


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

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) cadre supports field employees, leads, supervisors, and managers by providing a range of decision-making, conflict prevention, and conflict resolution services on request to prevent escalation.


  • 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

Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Cadre deploys Civil Rights Advisors and other personnel to support disaster response and recovery operation and ensures equal access to FEMA and FEMA-funded programs and activities by the whole community. The Civil Rights Cadre conducts community assessments and provides technical advice to FEMA leadership regarding operations; conducts community outreach, engagement and education; inspects disaster relief locations and other FEMA sites; and ensures accessibility for the whole community. 


  • Three (3) full years of working knowledge with Civil Rights laws and regulations (ADA, 504, LEP, EJ). (Not applicable to Sign Language Interpreter Expert Specialist (SLSP))

  • Experience in community outreach and developing stakeholder engagement

  • Must pass a federal background check – Public Trust level

  • Technical and analytical writing experience required

  • Microsoft Office Suite - Skill Level: ADVANCE required

  • Travel will be required

Knowledge of the Office of Equal Rights (OER) essential functions

Disability Integration

The Disability Integration (DI) Cadre deploys Disability Integration Advisors (DIADs) and Disability Integration Specialists (DINSs) to advise key leaders in Joint Field Offices (JFOs) and managers at the branch level to increase access and inclusion for survivors with disabilities in both the response and recovery missions. DI Cadre staff provides strategies, tools, and tactics to improve services to people with disabilities. Also, advises field leadership and management on the consideration of needs of people with disabilities including universal design principles. 


  • 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

Disaster Emergency Communications

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

Disaster Field Training Operations

The Disaster Field Training Operations (DFTO) cadre is a professional team of communicators that specializes in all things training.  They staff the training unit in disaster operations to plan, develop, promote, and deliver disaster performance improvement and fundamental training opportunities.


  • 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

Disaster Survivor Assistance

The Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) cadre establishes a timely presence focused on addressing the needs of impacted populations and disaster survivors. They collect targeted information, provide accessible in-person information and referrals, and identify public information needs.


  • 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)

Environmental Historic Preservation

The Environmental Historic Preservation (EHP) cadre provides technical expertise and develops tools to address and resolve anticipated environmental and/or historic preservation issues relating to compliance review and approval process for proposed actions to be funded by FEMA during emergency and recovery operations. They review and implement Executive orders, environmental and historic preservation laws, and provide guidance for FEMA funded activities. They also perform administration work, analyze environmental and floodplain issues, serve as project managers for task orders and Interagency Agreements, and are liaisons with State, Tribal, and Federal resource agencies as well as private sector organizations.


  • 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

External Affairs

The External Affairs (EA) cadre engages and communicates with stakeholders in Congress, the media, state, local, tribal, and local governments, the private sector, and internal FEMA employees. They also serve as advisors to FEMA program and support offices on decision making, development, and maintenance of policies and programs.


  • 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

Field Leadership

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