Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Emergency Management
Deanne Criswell was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department in 2019. She is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information. As NYC Emergency Management Commissioner, Deanne has managed the City’s response to emergencies including extreme summer heat, power outages, and large fires. She has also coordinated the City’s readiness for planned events including the 2019 Ticker Tape Parade honoring the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.
Prior to joining NYC Emergency Management, Deanne served as the leader of one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Incident Management Assistance Teams (N-IMAT) and as a federal coordinating officer. In this role, Deanne was the primary Federal representative responsible for leading the agency’s response to and recovery from emergencies and major disasters, from severe flooding in North Dakota to hurricanes in South Carolina to fires in Colorado. She also served as the head of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Aurora, Colorado, where she led strategic change in the city’s emergency and disaster planning. During her tenure there, Deanne coordinated transitional housing and family reunification efforts in response to receiving 2000 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.
As an executive in the homeland security sector of the Cadmus Group LLC, Deanne served as a principal for clients at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as the private sector, providing exceptional technical expertise and the experience necessary to help her clients achieve their critical missions.
As a member of the Colorado Air National Guard, Deanne served 21 years as a firefighter and Deputy Fire Chief. In 2001, she deployed to Kuwait to serve as a fire officer in crash fire rescue efforts, and in 2010, she deployed to Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq to advise senior leadership on fire protection requirements for new and existing military bases.
Deanne is a graduate of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education and Training and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver and a Master of Science in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.