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Melissa Forbes, PhD

Melissa Forbes
Office of Response and Recovery

Deputy Assistant Administrator

Dr. Melissa Forbes is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Recovery Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Prior to this position, Dr. Forbes served as Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer where she provided leadership and oversight to Information Technology (IT) resource planning, strategic and capital planning, enterprise IT procurement, customer success, and IT project management.  She also led the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s (OCIO) implementation of FEMA’s Strategic Goal 3: Reduce the Complexity of FEMA by championing new technology and processes to make OCIO a more collaborative and customer-focused organization.

Dr. Forbes also served as the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for FEMA's Office of Policy and Program Analysis (OPPA).  In that role, she provided leadership and oversight of agency policy, strategic and resource planning, enterprise analytics, audit follow-up and resolution, international affairs, and Defense Production Act coordination. During the record-breaking 2017 hurricane season, she deployed to FEMA's National Response Coordination Center as Deputy Chief of Situational Awareness.

Dr. Forbes joined DHS in 2010, working in the National Protection and Programs Directorate’s (NPPD) Office of Risk Management and Analysis, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the DHS Office of Policy.  Melissa joined FEMA’s National Preparedness Assessment Division in 2012, where she led the National Preparedness Report in support of the National Preparedness Goal.  Dr. Forbes has a PhD in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan.