Captain W. Russell “Russ” Webster, USCG (Ret.), C.E.M., was sworn in as FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator on Monday, June 10, 2019.
Captain Webster rejoins FEMA where he served for eight years in Region 1 as New England’s first Federal Preparedness Coordinator (FPC) between 2008 to 2015. As FPC, he was instrumental in creating the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) preparedness program that reached more than 20,000 fourth and fifth grade students throughout New England. He also initiated an information and resource sharing network with over 200 colleges and universities. Webster was also the Region I Regional Response Coordination Center Chief for the first critical hours after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.
Before FEMA, Captain Webster served as the Deputy Federal Security Director for TSA Boston where he co-sponsored the agency's first operational use of airport behavioral detection technologies, and security screening at transportation venues operating outside of airports.
Captain Webster served in the Coast Guard for twenty-six years. He led Northeast operations in the aftermath of 9/11 and oversaw the response to the 1999 JFK Jr., and Egypt Air Flight 990 air crashes. Webster also pioneered programs to evaluate small boat mission risk and crew fatigue, endurance and incident stress.
He most recently taught emergency management at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and created the University of New Haven’s first online course in Maritime Security.
Captain Webster was named the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. In 2018, the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) conferred the rare and prestigious "Lifetime" Certified Emergency Manager status to Captain Webster, acknowledging his decades of contributions to emergency management.
Webster holds a B.S. from the Coast Guard Academy, M.A. in National Strategic and Security Studies from the Naval War College, and M.S. in Systems Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Captain Webster resides in Massachusetts with his family.