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IEM Leadership


Chris Smith

Director of Individual Assistance and Disaster Housing

Chris Smith, the Director of Individual Assistance and Disaster Housing at IEM, is pivotal in steering the company’s strategic and operational disaster recovery initiatives, mainly focusing on individual assistance and housing deliveries. His extensive experience in emergency management across various levels of government empowers him to lead with a unique blend of strategic insight and practical expertise.

A seasoned emergency management professional, Chris’ career spans over 15 years at the local, state, and federal levels. His significant tenure includes serving as a critical member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s senior leadership, where he headed the Office of Response and Recovery’s Individual Assistance Division. There, he led a large team through 175 federally declared disasters, efficiently managing the distribution of over $52 billion in federal assistance to those affected by disasters. His adept leadership was crucial in rapidly developing and implementing a funeral assistance program funded by Congress in response to COVID-19, delivering over $2 billion in aid.

Before his impactful role at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Chris’ career was marked by influential positions such as the Chief of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor of Nevada and the Emergency Management Director for the Washoe County School District. In these roles, he was instrumental in advocating for and implementing key emergency management initiatives, enhancing the State’s resilience. His advisory role to the Governor of Nevada was crucial in steering the State through various critical incidents.

A rich diversity of experiences characterizes Chris’ career. Before embarking on his journey in emergency management, he served as a reserve deputy sheriff, a high school history teacher, and a principal, showcasing his commitment to community service and leadership. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nevada, reflecting his strong academic foundation that complements his professional expertise.

Chris’ passion for outdoor activities aligns with his professional commitment to safeguarding communities against natural and man-made disasters. Chris’ comprehensive professional experience, academic prowess, and personal interests make him a valuable asset to IEM and an influential figure in emergency management and disaster recovery.

Chris Smith

About IEM