Certification Commission

Certification Commission

The Certification Commission is composed of representatives nominated by their respective sponsoring Council Board and approved by the USA Board. There are 18-30 Commission seats depending on workload/volume of applicants.

The Certification Commission reflects the spectrum of emergency management expertise, including all levels of governmental emergency management programs (local, state, tribal, federal) and all environments of practice including but not limited to private sector, military installations, not-for-profit/volunteer-based, campuses and healthcare organizations. This ensures that all candidates are peer-reviewed. All Certification Commission members must hold a current CEM certification.


The Certification Commission is a peer-review body and ensures that the Certification Program remains open, fair and impartial; retains integrity; and implements the mission of emergency management by certifying that successful applicants have met the minimum standards outlined in the program. See the listing of Past Certification Commission Chairs.

Certification Commissioners (as of Jan. 1, 2023)

Commission Chair

John Fessler, CEM Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety
Fox Corporation
Simi Valley, CA


Commission Vice Chair

USA/Canada/Africa/International/Latin America and Caribbean/Middle East/:
Michelle Oblinsky, CEM
VEST Director
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
North Chesterfield, VA

Christopher Ainsworth, CEM, MBA
Executive Officer - Principal Emergency Management - Business Continuity
'raemec' austraia / KP3 Collaboration
Blackwood, SA, Australia 


Class of 2026

Billy Anderson, CEM Sr. Emergency Management Specialist Sound Transit Seattle, WA First Term – Local

David Bujak, CEM
Senior Planner
Cortland, OH
First Term – Campus

Billy (B.J.) Dvorak, CEM Emergency Management Coordinator Linn County Emergency Management Cedar Rapids, IA Second Term – At-Large

Peter Hirai, CEM
Emergency Management Specialist
U.S. Marine Corps Installations - Pacific
FPO, AP Second Term – Military

William Hurtes, CEM
HTC International
Charleston, SC
First Term – Consultant/Not-for-Profit

Douglas Mayne, CEM Senior Consultant, Disaster Management Witt O'Brien's LLC Olympia, WA Second Term – Military & State

Ralph Nazzaro, CEM
Senior Homeland Security Analyst
Annandale, VA
First Term – Healthcare

Michelle Oblinsky, CEM VEST Director Virginia Department of Emergency Management North Chesterfield, VA Second Term – State

Ross Patterson, CEM Emergency Management Coordinator Winston Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management Winston Salem, NC Second Term – Not-for-profit

Michael Ripley, CEM Global Crisis Management The Walt Disney Company Burbank, CA Second Term – At-Large 

Class of 2025

Jon Fessler, CEM
Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Fox Corporation
Simi Valley, CA
Second Term – Private Industry

Jason Higginbotham, CEM, LEM
Director of Emergency Management
Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
Second Term – Academia

Sean Holland, CEM
Manager, Airport Operations Center – JFK
The Port Authority of NY & NJ, John F. Kennedy International Airport
Hampton, NJ
First Term – State

Thomas Ignelzi, CEM
Program Manager
Securing the Cities Program - New Orleans Region
Belle Chasse, LA
First Term – Local EM

Lanita Lloyd, CEM
GA Director
The Salvation Army
Villa Rica, GA
First Term – Non-Profit

Alexander Markowski, CEM
Director of Business Continuity
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Brooklyn, NY
Second Term – Private Industry

Sarah Miller, CEM
S.K. Miller Consulting
Auburn, WA
First Term – Consultant

Gary Teeler, CEM
Manager - Public Safety Support
Lower Colorado River Authority
Kyle, TX
First Term – Non-Profit

Libby Turner, CEM
Turner Associates, LLC
Lawrenceville, GA
First Term – Federal


Class of 2024

Shad Ahmed, CEM
Emergency Management
Salem, NH
First Term – Local EM

Lawrence Cattano, Jr., CEM
Director OEM
City of Perth Amboy
Perth Amboy, NJ
First Term – Local EM

Daniel Dunn, Jr., CEM
Operations Officer
United States Coast Guard
Daphne, AL
First Term – Military

Heather Long, CEM
Federal Exercise Manager
Pittsburgh, PA
Second Term – Healthcare

*Federal employees who serve as IAEM commissioners do so in their personal capacities and do not formally represent their employing agency or the United States Government on the commission.

Kimberly Nagel, CEM
Emergency Manager
INOVA Fairfax Medical Campus
Woodbridge, VA
First Term – Healthcare

Michael Riedy, CEM
Hawaii FEMA Integration Team Lead
Kailua, HI
First Term – Federal

Council Representatives

IAEM-Africa Representative

IAEM-Asia Representative
Kyoo-Man Ha, CEM

Adjunct Professor
Inje University
Changwon, Gyeongnam, South Korea
First Term (completing term 12-31-2025)

IAEM-Canada Representative
David Day, CEM
Manager, Emergency and Safety Services
City of St. John's
St. John's, NL Canada
First Term (completing term 12-31-2025)

IAEM-Canada Alternate Representative
Jennifer Smysnuik, CEM

Manager Emergency Management
City of Toronto OEM
Toronto, ON M3C 3N3 Canada
Second Term (completing term 12-31-2025)

IAEM-Canada Alternate Representative

Danielle Trudeau, CEM, ABCP, MDMa
Executive Director
TopShelf Emergency Management
Richmond, BC Canada
First Term (completing term 12/31/2026)  

IAEM-Middle East Represenative

Steve Glassey, CEM
Public Safety Institute
Abu Dhabi,   United Arab Emirates
First Term (completing term 12/31/2024)  

IAEM-Europa Representative
George Karagiannis, CEM

Engineering Leadership Group Director
Resilience First
London, England
First Term (completing term 12-31-2025)

IAEM-International Representative

IAEM Latin America and Caribbean Representative

IAEM-Middle East Representative

IAEM-Oceania Representative
Christopher Ainsworth, CEM, MBA

Executive Officer - Principal Emergency Management - Business Continuity
'raemec' austraia / KP3 Collaboration
Blackwood, SA, Australia 
Second Term (completing term 12-31-2026)


Appointments - Ex-Officio

NEMA Representative

FEMA Representative
Tony Russell, CEM

Center for Domestic Preparedness
Anniston, AL

Board Liaison
Valerie Lucus-McEwen

IAEM-USA Region 8 President
California State University iaem.r8@iaem.com

Staff Liaison
Kate McClimans

Program Manager
International Association of Emergency Managers
201 Park Washington Court
Falls Church, VA 22046-4527
(703) 538-1795

IAEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.