In November 2014, Sharon Loper became the Acting Administrator for FEMA Region VIII, serving the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Ms. Loper is on leave from her role as Deputy Regional Administrator for FEMA Region X. In this role, she advises the Regional Administrator and oversees the regional divisions in operational decisions and policy implementation within the region’s tribal nations and states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These efforts include implementing and executing FEMA's preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery programs.
Ms. Loper assumed her position with FEMA Region X in December 2011. From 2007 to 2011, she was the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Regional Administrator, with periodic assignments as the Regional Response Coordination Center’s Regional Support Team Leader.
Previously, she worked in the Region’s Mitigation Division where she implemented the hazard mitigation planning requirements under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, launched the Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant Program, served as Hazard Mitigation Cadre Manager and, as assigned, served as Mitigation Branch Chief and Hazard Mitigation Officer for federally declared major disasters. Before coming to Region X, she worked for FEMA’s Mitigation Directorate in Washington, D.C. on floodplain management policy issues and hazard mitigation benefit-cost analysis. She also was a contributor to FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation initiative, Project Impact, which emphasized a collaborative approach to reducing disaster damages before a disaster. Her career with FEMA began in 1988.
Ms. Loper received a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. She completed a two-year Presidential Management Fellowship in Washington, D.C. She has also attended professional development courses at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.