IEM Leadership

Michael A. Coen, Jr.

Senior Advisor Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Michael A. Coen, Jr., former Chief of Staff to the FEMA Office of the Administrator, serves as IEM’s Senior Homeland Security and Emergency Management Advisor, bringing 25 years of experience in state and federal government and 15 years in emergency management and disaster response and recovery. Coen has proven management and leadership experience and a track record of accomplishments in managing operations during times of crisis, leading organizational change, and building coalitions.

During his tenure as FEMA Chief of Staff, Coen supported Administrator W. Craig Fugate in the management of disaster response and recovery operations and provided oversight for Administrator recommendations to the President for major disaster and emergency declarations. He served as the primary liaison to the President’s National Security Council Staff for all matters relating to emergency management in the United States and helped lead response efforts to over 500 presidentially declared Stafford Act events, including the 2011 tornado disasters in Alabama and Missouri, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and the Louisiana floods of 2016. Coen also helped develop the agency’s 2014-2018 Strategic Plan and a planning programming, budget, and executive (PPBE) process linking the strategy to performance outcomes.

Prior to his Chief of Staff role, Coen served as Counselor to the FEMA Administrator and Deputy Chief of Staff, where he provided guidance on strategic plans and policies and emergency management public policy issues. He led efforts to improve agency communications that resulted in an improved public perception of FEMA and also spearheaded a master facility planning effort that consolidated National Capital Region agency operations into a single headquarters complex and resulted in increased agency collaboration and efficiency.

Coen’s disaster response and recovery experience was initially honed at James Lee Witt Associates, where he worked as the State of Louisiana Disaster Recovery Liaison providing technical support and assistance on FEMA’s Public Assistance program to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He participated as the senior State of Louisiana official within the disaster unified command organization, facilitated communications between Louisiana emergency management officials and national leaders, and fostered new approaches for addressing the significant unmet needs of Louisiana communities. Coen also served as Vice President for start-up operations for James Lee Witt Associates when the company was first established in 2001.

Coen served in other emergency management and government roles throughout his career, including as Emergency Transportation Manager for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as Special Assistant to the Director of FEMA, and as a political appointee to the U.S. Department of State.

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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.

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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.