Skip to content

IEM Leadership


Dr. Clifford Oliver

Senior Advisor, Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Dr. Oliver is the Founder and Principal of Nanticoke Global Strategies LLC (NGS) and serves as NGS’s lead technical authority. Oliver’s over thirty-five year public safety background enables him to offer a unique perspective and extensive knowledge regarding emergency management, homeland security, and business continuity programs.

During his 30 years of federal service, he held numerous technical, managerial, and executive level positions. Oliver, first appointed to the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2001, spent twenty years as an SES serving in various management capacities with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2002, he was a founding member of DHS. He completed his federal career as the Assistant Administrator for Financial Systems at FEMA.

Oliver spent 28 years at FEMA. During the 1990s, he led numerous mitigation programs. In response to Hurricane Katrina, he led FEMA’s temporary housing mission following that installed 152,000 temporary housing units and built over 200 group sites. Other notable roles include, following passage of the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, leading the establishment of FEMA’s national evacuation planning and execution contracts and the effort to create a long-range view of the nation’s disaster logistics management system. As a member of the SES, he successfully tackled some of FEMA’s most significant management challenges including: serving as the acting Chief Security Officer (CSO) and addressing serious management deficiencies within the Office of the CSO; establishing the Office of Professional Responsibility; leading the effort to replace the National Flood Insurance Program’s insurance IT system; and leading a similar effort to replace FEMA’s financial management system. As a collateral duty, he served as Chief of the National Response and Coordination Center (NRCC) at FEMA headquarters during high-level activations for five years.

For over a decade, Oliver served in various capacities as a Senior Procurement Executive. He oversaw many of FEMA’s procurement activities including small business utilization, acquisition planning, procurement IT systems, and customer support. For several years. He served as both FEMA’s Competition Advocate and Task Order Ombudsman. While with the federal government, he was certified by the Federal Acquisition Council (FAC) and DHS as both a Senior Acquisition Program Manager (Level III) with his Information Technology credential and as a Contracting Officer Representative (Level III).

In 2001, Dr. Oliver departed FEMA for a SES position with USDA and he returned to FEMA in 2003. While at USDA, he established and served as the Director of the Office of Crisis Planning and Management. In this capacity, he served as USDA’s National Security lead, Emergency Coordinator, and Personnel Security Officer. He served as the primary contact with the intelligence community (IC), as USDA’s Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Control Officer, and coordinated USDA’s counterintelligence national security activities both domestically and overseas. As part of his emergency management duties, Dr. Oliver oversaw USDA’s Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) programs. For his efforts, he twice earned that Secretary’s Award for coordinating USDA’s response to the events of September 11, 2001, and the potential U.S. outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

Since 2009, Dr. Oliver has been faculty member at the University of Maryland Global Campus where he has achieved the rank of Adjunct Professor. He has over a decade of experience in the development and delivery of educational instruction to adult learners. He has also authored or directly overseen and edited numerous government publications and collegiate courses across a broad array of emergency management and homeland security subjects. He is the recipient of the 2016 University of Maryland Global Campus Professional Achievement Award, recognizing faculty who expand their horizons professionally and academically and has been nominated multiple times for the UMUC Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award and the UMGC Teaching Recognition Award for The Undergraduate School. In 2020, he was awarded the Champion of Change Award. This award is given to faculty who make successful innovations possible, helping students change how they think about the relationship between their work and education. As a member of the UMGC faculty member, he has served as the Course Chair for: Catastrophic Disaster Planning and Response, Terrorism in Emergency Management, Public Safety Issues and Challenges, Public Safety Policies and Leadership, and Continuity of Operations Planning and Implementation. In this capacity, he participated in the academic assessment of courses, mentored new faculty, ensured course classrooms are properly set up on time and course content remains current. At UMGC, he has authored, developed, and edited graduate and undergraduate courses entitled:  “Catastrophic Disaster Planning and Response,” “Resilience Planning and Preparedness for Disaster Response and Recovery,” “Public Safety Policies and Leadership,” and “Terrorism Issues in Emergency Management.” He also authored a course entitled “Terrorism: Origins, Ideologies, and Goals for Colorado Technical University.”

Dr. Oliver holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a specialization in Homeland Security Leadership and Policy from Northcentral University as well as a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Clifford Oliver

About IEM