James “Kevin” Smith became Director of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives in July 2018 (DHS Center). Mr. Smith is a Certified Emergency Manager who has worked with faith and community-based organizations for more than 25 years.
In 2001, Mr. Smith served multiple roles for The Salvation Army following the attacks on September 11. From 1996-2018, he led disaster relief efforts for multiple federally declared disaster recovery efforts as Area Commander for Salvation Army including wildfires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes.
From 2005-2008, Mr. Smith served as the National Disaster Specialist with Feeding America. His primary role was to build resilience and response capacity within food banks and community-based organization member agencies. During his time with Feeding America Mr. Smith coordinated immediate response efforts for Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi, and then supported their recovery operations for the entire Gulf Coast.
As the Director for the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity initiatives, Mr. Smith and his team promote developing partnerships between the public, faith and community-based organizations, emergency managers and first responders to strengthen the resilience of our nation. This includes increasing faith-based and community engagement in support of the DHS Blue Campaign, the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking.
Mr. Smith hold certifications from the International Association of Emergency Managers and has completed Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. He has received the Distinguished Service Awards from National Hurricane Conference, and the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference.