National Security Experts


Michael Brown

Biography provided by participant

Michael Brown was the first Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Preparedness & Response Directorate. Prior to that he served on the White House Transition Planning Office team for DHS, making him the only Presidential nominee to work in a legacy agency (FEMA), on the transition team for the new Department, and as an Under Secretary in DHS. Brown served as the U.S. Representative to the NATO's Civil Emergency Planning Committee where he negotiated and mediated agreements among NATO members. His NATO experience led to numerous missions throughout Europe, Russia and South Asia, including membership on the US-Great Britain Contact Working Group. He headed delegations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on international preparedness issues. He negotiated a ten-year cooperative agreement between the U.S. and Russia, leading to further cooperation between the two nations in the areas of homeland security, domestic response to disasters, and international cooperation in responding to terrorist events. Before his nomination as Under Secretary, President Bush appointed Brown as General Counsel to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the President nominated Brown as the Deputy Director of FEMA, and later as Director of FEMA in 2003. Brown practiced law in Colorado and Oklahoma before joining FEMA. While attending law school, he staffed the Senate Finance Committee of the Oklahoma Legislature. He helped enact the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, and later served as its Secretary and Chairman of the Board. His legal practice included negotiating contracts in Brazil, France, Argentina and Peru. Brown also served as the first Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. After successfully handling of more than 160 Presidentially declared disasters and the highly criticized response to Hurricane Katrina, Brown has advised numerous organizations on crisis management and speaks worldwide on resilience and crisis management issues.

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