Pamela Williams

Pamela Williams

Assistant Administrator, Grant Programs

Pamela Williams was appointed by President Biden in 2022 to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate (GPD). GPD’s mission is to deliver and support grant programs that help the Nation before, during, and after disasters in order to make the country more resilient​. In this role, Ms. Williams is responsible for agency-wide grants management policy and the $500 million Grants Management Modernization initiative to modernize grants-related business processes to improve the administration and oversight of the billions of grant dollars the Directorate awards annually. 

During her tenure with GPD, she has overseen transformative changes in policies, procedures and outcomes as Congress has expanded the directorate’s portfolio with the creation of three new grants: the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program, and the Shelter and Services Program. 

During this time, Ms. Williams also oversaw the first major overhaul of the Terrorism Risk Methodology used in preparedness grant programs; led the implementation of the inaugural Community Disaster Resilience Zones; oversaw FEMA’s first Comprehensive Grants Review; and revitalized stakeholder engagement with more than 300 outreach events with 25,000 participants. 

Before rejoining FEMA, Ms. Williams spent three years in the private sector working with a wide range of stakeholders to build partnerships and resources focused on building disaster resilience across America’s communities as the Director of Mitigation and Resilience for IEM and as the Executive Director of the BuildStrong Coalition. From 2014 to 2019, she served as Counsel for the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, where she advised the Committee and Congressional leadership on Emergency Management, FEMA, the Stafford Act, and disaster-related matters. Most notably, she was the principal drafter and successfully led negotiations with multiple committees, House leadership, the Senate, and the Administration, culminating in enactment of the most transformational piece of legislation since Hurricane Katrina, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, P.L. 115-254.

During her previous tenure at FEMA, Ms. Williams served as the Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs, responsible for directing and executing the Agency’s legislative program, and as the Associate Chief Counsel for Legislation and Policy for FEMA, serving as an Advisor to FEMA, DHS leadership, and the Administration on congressional actions and managing the Agency’s response to congressional, White House and departmental investigations.

Ms. Williams holds a J.D. from the University of Denver, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University.  After growing up in Central Texas, Ms. Williams now lives with her two children, Camilla and Gabriel, along the Potomac River in Virginia.

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