As FEMA’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Mr. Ted Okada is responsible for leading the technology strategy and direction for a variety of mission, business, and enterprise systems, providing guidance, advisory services, and investment and change management planning. Under his leadership as FEMA’s first CTO, Mr. Okada drives FEMA Technology towards a culture of exploration, curiosity, and innovation by leveraging continuous improvement initiatives involving open data, geospatial technologies, cybersecurity, and a “whole community” approach to interoperable communications during disaster operations.
Mr. Okada is the creator and executive sponsor of OpenFEMA—a public-facing data repository that provides timely, usable, and accurate information to partners and stakeholders, further enhancing and promoting FEMA’s transparent and collaborative culture. This growing open source, digital information-sharing and communication resource launched after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and has further enabled disaster survivor support in numerous disasters since. OpenFEMA has also led to a unified strategy to reduce complexity in FEMA systems designed around simplified web services and built on the same OpenFEMA foundation.
Mr. Okada holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University. His experience includes over 30 years in international relief and development, a decade in internet services architecture, and two technology start-ups. Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Okada served as the Director of U.S. Global Public Private Partnerships and Director of the Humanitarian Systems Group at Microsoft, developing solutions to underserved humanitarian problems.