Russell J. Strickland, Secretary, Maryland Department of Emergency Management
Russell J. Strickland was appointed as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Emergency Management in October of 2021. He
previously was appointed as the Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in July 2015. In this role, Mr.
Strickland leads a Department that has the primary responsibility and authority for emergency preparedness policy, and for coordinating hazard mitigation, incident response, and disaster recovery for the State of Maryland. This includes serving as a direct advisor to the Governor during disasters and coordinating support for local governments as requested.
Mr. Strickland is an experienced emergency management professional who has more than 40 years of experience in the field of emergency services and first responder activities at the state and local levels of government, academia, and the private sector. This includes expertise in fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, fire inspection and investigation, communications, and emergency management leadership.
Directly prior to his appointment, Mr. Strickland worked as a Senior Law & Policy Analyst at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS), where he led CHHS’ work with the United States Department of State Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and developed strategy for the Montgomery County (Md.) Fire Department to meet compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Mr. Strickland also has experience leading a cabinet-level emergency services department at the local level as the Director of Emergency Services in Harford County, Md. This position oversees emergency operations and
communications, public safety answering points (the 9-1-1 center), training, and special operations among other responsibilities.
His executive responsibilities have also included previously serving the State of Maryland as Deputy Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Assistant Director of the Field Programs Division at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, University of Maryland College Park.
Mr. Strickland has a Master of Science degree in Management from Frostburg State College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park.