Who We Are
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.