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Mayor Fenty Nominates New Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

Monday, October 26, 2009
Millicent Williams will replace former Director Darrell Darnell, who has joined the White House National Security Staff.

Media Contact: Helen Hare (EOM), 202-727-1090

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced his selection for Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). Millicent Williams will replace former Director of HSEMA Darrell Darnell, who has joined the White House National Security Staff in the newly created Office on Resiliency.

“Millicent’s experience in organization development and systems building is extensive, and her commitment to the District is admirable,” said Mayor Fenty. “I look forward to our work to ensure the safety of District residents.”

Millicent Williams

Williams served for eight years as general secretary of the Youth Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. As the youngest person ever elected to serve on the Society’s Executive Board in its 120 year history, Williams developed legislation to expand the focus of the organization, developed programmatic and training opportunities, prepared resource literature and study guides, and provided instruction to young people ages 13-21 on five continents and in the Caribbean. Her efforts led to an increase in the involvement of young men and women world-wide by several-hundred percent.

While at Serve DC, Williams was instrumental in coordinating and managing the CERT volunteer program, where she led efforts to train citizens to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. As the CERT manager, Williams developed a comprehensive, District specific emergency preparedness curriculum for children and youth. The curriculum is now used in elementary schools throughout the District. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Williams’ emergency management skills were sharpened as she worked closely with HSEMA to provide critical volunteer and shelter management support for over 300 evacuees.

Williams represented the District of Columbia as the lead agency representative for Emergency Support Function #16 (Volunteer and Donations Management) and served as a regional co-chair of the regional committee of the same function. As a grant reviewer for the US Department of Homeland Security, Williams was able to assist in making determinations about which jurisdictions would receive the highly competitive Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) dollars. Locally, she assisted in managing federal and local grant dollars allocated to the District for citizen emergency preparedness.

Fenty named Williams Executive Director of Serve DC in January 2007. In that role, Williams increased local funding to the agency’s homeland security efforts by more than 75 percent, and increased volunteerism in the District of Columbia by more than 200 percent.

Williams will leave her role as President and CEO of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation. The Trust builds partnerships that expand and improve services for children and youth in the District. While providing leadership to the Trust, Williams streamlined operations, improved grants management and developed systems to ensure greater overall accountability of the organization to stakeholders and grantees.

Williams is a graduate of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s School of Business and Industry.