Traci received her Associates degree in Business Administration and Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Education from Wayland Baptist University. She then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. In addition, Traci received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Organizational Development from Northcentral University in 2010 where she was an active member in Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Traci completed the necessary coursework and comprehensive exam to become a Doctoral Candidate at Northcentral University.
Traci began her career in emergency management in 1993 with the U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons facility in Amarillo, Texas where she was instrumental toward the development and readiness of the Emergency Operations Center. In 2000, she was recruited and relocated to the U.S. Department of Energy Headquarters office in Washington D.C. where she led the field site no-notice exercise program and implemented an emergency management metrics program. Following 9/11, Traci served in a liaison capacity as a National Emergency Management Team member in support of Continuity of Operations.
In 2003, Traci received the designation of Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers. Additionally, in 2003, Traci received an appointment to the U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Operations where she was instrumental in the development of a new Emergency Preparedness Training and Outreach Program. In 2007, Traci was named the Director of Emergency Preparedness for the U.S. House of Representatives where she successfully administered a comprehensive emergency preparedness program for Member of Congress, over 12,000 staff, and up to two million visitors per year. Traci was awarded the prestigious Employee Excellence Award in September 2011, for her dedication to the mission, regularly going above and beyond the call of duty, and for always demonstrating a superior attitude and demeanor in her service to the U. S. House of Representatives.
In 2014, Traci accepted a position with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), as the State Coordinator for Recovery, Mitigation, and Standards Services, and relocated to Austin. In this position, Traci led Individual Assistance, funds management in the managing and monitoring of program budgets for disaster grants under Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation, contractor services to include contracts in excess of $42 million, and Engineering to include engineers and architects that conducted site assessments, preliminary damage assessments, and peer reviews.
In 2015, Traci became the first State Coordinator for Human Services under the Response Division where she was the Human Services Branch Director in the State Operations Center where she coordinated with over 16 state agencies and voluntary organizations in both response and recovery. In this position, Traci oversaw Mass Care and Sheltering for the state of Texas and Voluntary Agency Liaison activities in the coordination of volunteer and donations management, long term recovery and unmet needs. In May 2015, Texas had the first flooding of the year and received a Major Disaster Declaration where Traci was the Human Services/Individual Assistance Branch Director in the Joint Field Office. Following that disaster, Texas continued to experience severe weather and received an addition five Major Disaster Declarations into 2016. Traci was appointed the Deputy State Coordinating Officer for four of those disasters.
In September 2016, Traci became the Acting Supervisory Program Director for Recovery, Mitigation, and Standards where she oversaw Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation in addition to Human Services. Traci was also appointed the Acting State Hazard Mitigation Officer. In this position, Traci focused on leading change through a re-organization, implementation of work flows, and standard operating procedures for the continued implementation of a grants management system.
In November 2016, Traci became the Recovery Division Director for FEMA Region 6. In the first few months on the job, Oklahoma received a Major Disaster declaration for winter storms, Louisiana received a Major Disaster declaration for tornadoes, and Oklahoma received a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for wildfires near Moore. Traci also served as the Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer for Recovery for Hurricane Harvey and has also served as Federal Coordinating Officer for multiple disasters, including COVID-19 state and tribal.
From January 2020 – October 2020, Traci was the Acting Public Assistance Director for FEMA HQ Recovery Directorate. This SES position manages the largest grant program at FEMA, and Traci began her position only six weeks before the COVID pandemic began. Throughout the pandemic, she successfully led her team through answering numerous policy questions with interest from governors, the White House, and FEMA leadership. Traci’s also made an early commitment during COVID to coordinate with PA regional partners, knowing that Regions were the tip of the spear for responding to STT questions and concerns during the pandemic. She built communication channels and processes to continuously share information with the regions, answer their questions, and solicit their feedback on COVID funding eligibility. Traci also managed to enhance PA’s business processes and accountability by changing standard operating procedures throughout the Division. She also successfully completed and submitted a re-organization for Public Assistance.
Traci is an advocate for leadership development, particularly mentoring and coaching women in government and promoting a culture of diversity. Traci has spoken at many conferences and has been active with the Dallas Ft. Worth Federal Executive Board assisting in the development of a mentoring program, participating in leadership training, and speaking at events. Traci is also a member of Executive Women in Government.