IEM Leadership

David Maxwell

Senior Homeland Security and Emergency Management Advisor

David Maxwell supports IEM as a Senior Homeland Security and Emergency Management Advisor, drawing from his 38 years of experience and demonstrated leadership in the fields of emergency management and homeland security. Over the course of his career, Maxwell served in various roles at the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). In 2006, he was appointed as the agency’s Director and Homeland Security Advisor and prior to that served as the Deputy Director. He was designated as State Coordinating Officer (SCO) for 24 federally declared disasters and one federally declared emergency and served under three different Governors during his tenure. Maxwell’s long career working in all facets of emergency management has made him a leading subject matter in the field of response and recovery.

As ADEM Director, Maxwell chaired the Arkansas Homeland Security Executive Committee and served on the Governor’s Earthquake Advisory Council, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN) Executive Committee, and Arkansas Tech Emergency Administration and Management Citizens Advisory Council. Maxwell was also named by former Governor Mike Beebe as the First Net Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the State of Arkansas. Maxwell was responsible for State Emergency Operations Center operations and supported state continuity of operations planning. He also was active in the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), serving as its president in 2010; chairing such committees as the NEMA Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Committee, the Preparedness Committee, and the Response and Recovery Committee; and helping form and chair a working group between NEMA and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Maxwell also served on the Board of Directors of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association (NGA) Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council, and chaired the council’s Catastrophic Disaster and Preparedness Committee. In 2015, David was honored by NEMA with a Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award.

In September 2016, Maxwell entered a working relationship with the Electric Infrastructure Security Council. The council is focused on long term/wide scale outages of the electrical grid. The council is international in scope with active members from several countries. Maxwell coordinates the Non-Governmental Organizations for the EIS Council.

Maxwell began his emergency management career providing temporary housing support to disaster survivors of the Little Rock, Arkansas, major flooding event of 1978. He quickly moved up through ADEM’s planning division to Planning Specialist and later to become the Plans and Operations Division Manager. In that capacity, he led the division in its mission to coordinate state response and recovery operations in collaboration with federal and local governments and volunteer agencies, which included ensuring that the State Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and local jurisdiction plans were in compliance with state and federal guidelines. Mr. Maxwell led the division in its mission of coordinating state response and recovery operations, and collaborating with federal and local governments and volunteer agencies on disaster response and recovery responsibilities. During this mission in disaster response and recovery, Maxwell became well versed in Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and the HMGP.

Maxwell has a master’s degree from Henderson State University and a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University.

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IEM became one of the first companies to focus solely on emergency management and to use quantitative data and science to inform decisions in emergency management. Over the past 35 years, IEM has grown from a company of one to an employer of over 550 employees, and has provided clients and communities with innovative solutions that produce results and save lives.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is jointly managed by FEMA and the U.S. Army. The program ensures maximum protection for the communities surrounding U.S. chemical weapons stockpile sites. Since 1993, IEM has provided program integration services to FEMA and through FEMA to the states and counties that are part of CSEPP.

In 1999, FEMA selected IEM to be the CSEPP onsite Program Management and Integration Contractor. IEM worked with program managers to develop a flexible protection framework that broke down the “maximum protection” mandate into measurable benchmarks. These benchmarks have been adopted by emergency managers in 10 states, 40 countries, and one Tribal Nation.
IEM was awarded a five-year BPA with FEMA to continue working to further CSEPP initiatives between 2000 and 2004. During this time IEM was contracted to develop a secure website to facilitate communication and information-sharing among CSEPP planners nationwide who work in different jurisdictions. The website IEM created now has over 1,000 active users who use it as their primary source of CSEPP information. IEM also developed a demonstration version of an interactive computer-based “game” designed to illustrate the effects of different protective action decisions in a CSEPP emergency to citizens in the Madison County, KY, CSEPP community.

FEMA awarded IEM a second five-year BPA from 2005-2011. IEM was asked to provide CSEPP technical and analytical studies, risk assessments, support for development of programmatic guidance and preparation of reports to Congress. IEM was required to evaluate the Oregon CSEPP community’s readiness in the event of a depot incident. IEM also assisted in the planning and execution of regular readiness exercises and supported pre-exercise meetings. IEM’s work for CSEPP has been recognized on multiple levels. In 2004, FEMA and IEM received a Profiles in Innovation Award for Emergency Preparedness and Response Excellence from GOVSEC (Government Security Expo and Conference). IEM continues to work with FEMA to increase preparedness and achieve measurable results.


QEM uses the information gathered from conducting different scenarios to calculate the risk and impact of implementing different risk-reducing strategies. It pinpoints the actions that are the most effective at reducing risk across a wide spectrum of potential events. QEM allows clients to know the best way to allocate funds and bridge gaps in preparedness without spending thousands of dollars to implement ideas that cannot work.

QEM’s methodology has been applied to hundreds of IEM projects, such as readiness assessments, chemical plant mitigation studies, protective action analyses, and hurricane evacuation planning. The U.S. Army and FEMA have repeatedly used QEM technology to assess strategies to protect citizens in case of an accidental release of chemical agents. DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) also utilized QEM to quantify the effectiveness of various chemical defense systems. The software continues to provide valuable solutions to clients.