IEM Leadership

Madhu Beriwal

President and CEO

Madhu Beriwal, IEM President and CEO

IEM Founder, President, and CEO, Madhu Beriwal, has over three decades of experience in disaster and emergency management, homeland security, national defense, and the use of information technology to resolve complex protection issues.

Beriwal founded IEM in 1985 as a company dedicated to developing solutions for the most complex challenges in emergency management, homeland security, and defense. Today, IEM is the largest woman-owned homeland security and emergency management firm in the U.S., relied on by those charged with ensuring the safety, security, and resiliency of citizens, soldiers, communities, regions, states, infrastructure, and nations. IEM’s customers include federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense; state and local emergency management organizations in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories; critical infrastructure including nuclear power plants, chemical plants, hospitals, mass transit agencies, and ports. IEM’s international work includes projects in the Middle East, India, Russia, Turkey, the Ukraine, Korea, Taiwan, Haiti, and Kuwait.

Beriwal was also the corporate architect of “Hurricane Pam,” an innovative scenario-based exercise that drove catastrophic hurricane planning for 13 parishes and more than 300 participants in Southeastern Louisiana. In 2006, she was invited to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the importance and relevance of “Hurricane Pam.” In their 2006 report on Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Senate referred to “Hurricane Pam” as “a unique planning endeavor that resulted in functional plans that were … actually put to use in real-life situations before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.”

Today, under Beriwal’s leadership, IEM is leading the largest disaster housing recovery program in the United States. In Louisiana, IEM is managing $1.3 billion in federal funds, serving tens of thousands of survivors affected by the Great Floods of 2016. As part of this effort, IEM has delivered federal funds for survivors faster than any other rebuilding program of this type and magnitude.

Beriwal oversaw the design of IEM’s innovative approach to managing the state of New York’s $1 billion post-Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery housing program. After witnessing the challenges of Louisiana’s recovery program after Hurricane Katrina, IEM created a unique outcome-focused process designed to speed up historically slow recovery programs. This process allowed IEM to reduce program administration costs for the state of New York by 33%, while moving homeowners through the program four times faster than the previous contractor and with 30% fewer resources. IEM distributed $100 million to homeowners for the repair and reconstruction of their homes in just 60 days. Beriwal is also applying this outcome-based approach to managing the completion of New Jersey’s post-Sandy Homeowners Rebuilding Programs, helping over 2,000 families achieve a full recovery.

Recognizing a need to apply science and objectivity to public protection decisions, Beriwal was the first to develop and apply quantitative performance measures for one of the most challenging federal protection programs prior to 9/11. She has provided corporate leadership for the creation of decision support tools that help officials at all levels save lives during technological hazards. These tools provide response recommendations for millions of possible scenarios and reduce the time required to make response decisions.

Beriwal’s experience in defense includes measuring and improving preparedness and response for large-scale military programs, overseeing the development of simulation-based acquisition tools for major chemical-biological defense programs, and developing frameworks for terrorism prevention and analysis and mitigation of insurgent actions overseas.

For over 30 years, Beriwal has been dedicated to the use of technology to enhance preparedness and response. She was involved with some of the earliest efforts by FEMA to integrate technology and emergency management, and taught courses in evacuation planning and the use of computers in emergency management at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. She also led an effort to develop response tools for a public protection program mandated by the EPA after the Bhopal disaster in 1984. Since then, she has played a key role in developing requirements analysis for multi-million dollar emergency management software tools, analyzing and recommending information technology staffing, and developing architecture and tools for simulation-based acquisition—all for protection programs with lifecycle budgets reaching as much as $2 billion. She has provided strategic direction for numerous modeling and simulation studies whose results drive policy, strategy, and investment decisions at the federal, state, and local levels.

Prior to founding IEM, Beriwal worked for the state of Louisiana, focusing on floodplain management and hurricane evacuations for the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas. In 1984, she received a Special Merit Award from the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association for her achievements in hurricane emergency preparedness.

She has been a member of the prestigious Army Science Board (ASB) and was on the Defense Science Board’s Task Force for Intelligence Needs on Homeland Defense, created at the request of the DOD and the CIA to address counter-terrorism intelligence requirements for homeland defense. In 2001, she was the invited facilitator for DOD’s Chemical and Biological Modeling and Simulation Futures Workshop, which examined strategic defense issues.

Beriwal is a guest lecturer at the Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, such as the International Association of Emergency Managers conference and the World Conference on Disaster Management. A true visionary and pioneer, Beriwal was inducted into the International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2011, Beriwal was named an Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine.

Beriwal holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning (Transportation and Land Use) and a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Economics.

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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.