Richard Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Deputy Administrator in October 2009. In this role, he works directly with Administrator Craig Fugate to promote the “whole community” approach to emergency management, which seeks to build, sustain, and improve the Department's capacity to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Since joining FEMA, Mr. Serino has traveled all over the country to communities affected by disasters to hear directly from survivors, and build relationships with whole community partners. During his tenure, he has seen flooding throughout the Midwest, fires in Colorado and Texas, tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri, tsunami destruction in the American Samoa, and the Hurricane stricken areas in the south and along the east coast. Additionally, he spends time traveling to each of FEMA’s ten regional offices.
Mr. Serino strives to improve FEMA programs and emergency management by hearing directly from disaster survivors, communities, and FEMA employees. These improvements are focused on emphasizing financial accountability, improving the use of analytics to drive decisions, advancing the workforce, and fostering a culture of innovation. Under Mr. Serino’s leadership, FEMA has championed initiatives such as FEMA Corps, FEMA Stat, the FEMA Think Tank, a detailed budgetary process, and a Disaster Workforce Transformation.
Mr. Serino brings 35 years of state and local emergency management and emergency medical services experience to his position at FEMA. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, he served as Chief of Boston EMS and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. In that role, he bolstered the city's response plans for major emergencies, including chemical, biological, and radiological attacks. He also led citywide planning for H1N1 influenza. Mr. Serino has served as an Incident Commander for over 35 mass casualty incidents and for all of Boston's major planned events, including the Boston Marathon, Boston's Fourth of July celebration, First Night, and the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a National Special Security Event.
Since 1998, Serino has been a National Faculty member for the Domestic Preparedness Program. He was an original contributing member for the Defense Department's Domestic Preparedness Training Program and Metropolitan Medical Response System. Serino has been involved, since its inception, with the Lessons Learned Information Sharing www.llis.gov network for emergency responders. As a consultant to the Pentagon and the Defense Department, Serino served on the 9/11 after-action team to assess medical consequence management policies and procedures. Serino attended Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2000, completed the Kennedy School's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in 2005, and graduated from the Executive Leadership Program, Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.