Shad Ahmed, Director
Shad Ahmed, MS, CEM, has an extensive background in diverse emergency management leadership roles within local, state, higher education, public health, and public safety agencies across New England. He serves as a subject matter expert for and has coordinated many projects in emergency management for organizations at the local, state, and national levels. He contributes to advancing the profession through publishing articles and presenting on emerging best practices in the field. He is an instructor in topics ranging from the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) to Incident Command System (ICS) to Continuity of Operations (COOP), having taught for nonprofit, academic, local, state, and federal organizations across the country. He holds a master's degree with a concentration in critical infrastructure protection and was recently appointed to the International Association of Emergency Managers' Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) Commission where he is responsible for reviewing credentials of professionals who are certifying or recertifying as a CEM. He is also a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner, FEMA Master Continuity Practitioner, ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager, is a graduate of the FEMA National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, and holds many other credentials and instructor certifications.
Prior to Portland, he served as an emergency manager with municipal, regional, higher education, and state agencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. He also served as director of a university-based research institute with work focused on connecting research to practical applications for public safety disciplines and training for senior officials. Director Ahmed's background includes experience intersecting related disciplines of law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, fire marshals, environmental health, emergency communications, occupational safety, and risk management.
Chris Carey, Deputy Director
Chris Carey brings extensive experience and leadership in emergency management to his role as the Deputy Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. Most recently, as the Director of the Columbia County Department of Emergency Management, Carey spearheaded critical initiatives, including the county's first emergency alert and warning policy and first Integrated Preparedness Plan. Previously at the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, he played a vital role in coordinating emergency response functions and enhancing the city's capabilities during COVID-19 among other activations.
Carey's expertise extends to three combat deployments between his service in the active Army and Army National Guard. He continues to serve in the Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs officer. Carey holds a bachelor’s from American University, a master's in Threat and Response Management from the University of Chicago, and a variety of certifications from the Army, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With his strategic planning skills and dedication to public safety, Carey is poised to contribute significantly to Portland's community preparedness and response efforts as the Deputy Director.
Angela Carkner, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) Coordinator II
Angela joined the PBEM team in November 2017. In September 2022, she joined the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) team as a Coordinator II supporting the RDPO planning portfolio. Previously at PBEM, she administered the City and County’s public alerting program and software, helped ensure Portland Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) readiness, supported City emergency training and exercise, and was a PBEM Duty Officer.
Prior to joining PBEM, Angela worked as a project and emergency manager at Multnomah County Drainage District for four and half years, focusing on flooding and levee systems. Angela is a third-generation Portlander and studied Planning, Public Policy, and Management at the University of Oregon.
Carol Chang, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) Senior Planning Coordinator
Carol joined the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) in June 2021 as a Regional Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. In her current role, she supports planning and preparedness efforts of the RDPO stakeholders through regional convening and collaboration.
Prior to joining the RDPO, Carol worked in New York City in the nonprofit and public sectors doing volunteer program management, and emergency management coordination for human services and logistics.
Jaymee Cuti, Public Information Officer
Jaymee Cuti joined the Portland bureaus of Emergency Management and Emergency Communications in March 2023.
A FEMA-certified public information officer with a decade of experience in communications for the City of Portland, Jaymee previously served as Public Information Officer for the Portland Water Bureau (2014-2023) and Portland Housing Bureau (2012-2014).
She led and supported communications for regional emergencies, including an all-city boil water event, the Eagle Creek Fire, the COVID-19 pandemic, a shooting at Umpqua Community College, and Oregon's total solar eclipse response. Jaymee has experience in print and radio journalism.
Jaymee has a bachelor's degree in communications and art history from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Glenn C. Devitt, Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) Program and Information Specialist
As a member of the Community Resilience Team, Glenn is privileged to serve the volunteers of the NET and BEECN programs, and other preparedness efforts throughout Portland. Glenn chairs the regional UASI Citizen Corps Working Group and is a board member of the National CERT Association (NCA). His experience includes leadership of Sunnyside and Buckman NETs, civil rights and civil liberties advocacy, nonprofit governance, design of intercontinental computer networks, and 22 years as the owner of a website and app development firm. In his spare time he likes to get dirt under his nails in his garden, hike among very large trees, and play bocce.
Dan Douthit, Public Information Officer (Community Safety Division)
Dan is a member of the Portland Community Safety Division's communications team. He provides back up public information support to PBEM and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).
Dan started working at PBEM in 2008, first as a program specialist focused on regional coordination, and then as public information officer in 2013. He also previously served as a staff member in Portland Mayor Tom Potter’s office. Dan started working for BOEC in 2018 and the Community Safety Division in 2023. He holds an M.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Political Science and Canadian-American Studies from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.
Mark Ferdig, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) Managing Director
Mark Ferdig has more than 27 years of domestic and international non-profit experience. He has a breadth of experience supporting households and communities to be more prepared and resilient in the face of chronic and acute crises; and also supporting communities and households to recover post-crisis in a way empowers and prepares for future crises.
He has a strong collaborative executive leadership background with extensive history managing strategic change and solving complex problems. He has thrived living and working in multicultural contexts around the world and has led initiatives that fosters more diverse and inclusive work environments.
He previously spent 22 years in the international relief and development sector, primarily with Mercy Corps.
He earned a Master of Environmental Studies degree from Evergreen State College and a BS in ecology and environmental management from South Dakota State University, with supplemental coursework in field ecology at the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station. Mark is a certified PRINCE2® Registered Practitioner and a PMD Pro Project Management Professional.
Laura Hall, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) Communications Coordinator
Laura joined the RDPO in 2017 and provides coordination of regional disaster communications. She is the Chair of the RDPO Disaster Messaging Work Group and co-coordinated the Regional Joint Information System during COVID-19 response. She is a Team Leader for the Arbor Lodge/Kenton Neighborhood Emergency Team and Co-Chair of Parents4Preparedness. She teaches disaster preparedness classes at venues throughout Portland and is a contract writer for the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission.
Prior to joining the RDPO she worked in program coordination/management for Portland Community College and Portland State University. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Regina Ingabire, Community Resilience Outreach Manager
Regina Ingabire joined PBEM in January 2018 to lead public engagement initiatives focusing on disaster risk awareness, community resilience, and household preparedness in historically underserved communities.
Before joining PBEM, Regina worked with Oregon Public Health Institute as Community Engagement and Equity Manager, where she managed projects addressing social determinants of health, mainly to increase health access services to low income communities in East Portland. She also worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Rwanda coordinating public health projects. She obtained a master's degree from Brandeis University in Sustainable International Development and Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from National University of Rwanda.
Ernest "Ernie" Jones, Volunteer Program Development
Ernest Jones joined PBEM in October 2015 to work with the BEECN and NET programs and conduct outreach. He previously served 22 years as a reservist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in community relations and disaster survivor assistance on approximately 55 federally declared disasters, including Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the World Trade Center in 2001.
Since 2005, Ernest has represented the U.S. as an election monitor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He was a Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholar at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and holds a B.A. from The Evergreen State College and M.S.W. from the University of Washington.
Patrick Kramer, Procurement Analyst
Patrick joined PBEM in January 2022 as the Procurement Analyst for the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO). Patrick has worked for the City of Portland for almost 22 years, mostly at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. He has served in many roles, including as a Parking Enforcement Officer, Regulatory Program Specialist, and Towing Coordinator.
Rachit Nerwal, Business Continuity Planner
Rachit joined PBEM in November 2018 as the bureau's Business Continuity Planner. He is a project manager with experience working in humanitarian relief and response, disaster risk reduction planning, and community needs assessment.
Rachit holds a master’s degree in Disaster Management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. Previously, he worked on inclusive risk reduction planning and long-term recovery for hazards like floods, drought, landslides, and earthquakes in India and Nepal. Before starting to work in human development sector, Rachit worked as a software tester for an IT firm.
Lisa Oreskovich, Executive Assistant
Lisa joined the PBEM team February of 2023 as the Executive Assistant. She supports the Director as well as provides administrative assistance to the rest of the Bureau. Prior to joining PBEM, she worked for nine years at the City of Oregon City, first in Public Works and then as the Executive Assistant to the City Manager and Risk Administrator. She holds a B.A. and studied Criminal Justice at Portland State University as well as earning a Project Management Certification.
Outside of work, she is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, and three dogs.
Jeff Perkins, Operations Analyst
Jeff joined PBEM in 2022 as an Operations Analyst. Prior to joining the bureau, he worked as a 911 call taker/dispatcher for the Florence Police Department and a dispatch supervisor for the Junction City Police Department. Jeff was born and raised in Portland and attended Roosevelt High School (Go Riders!). He graduated from Everest University with an Associate Degree in Homeland Security in 2013 and currently attends Arizona State University Online where he is studying for his bachelor's degree in emergency management. He served six years as a combat engineer in the Oregon Army National Guard and is currently in the Army Reserve. He volunteers with the Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, is the Chair of the Technology Committee for the Oregon Emergency Management Association, and coaches youth baseball and basketball. Jeff describes himself as a family man that always finds himself busy trying to keep up with his kids.
Mike Phillips, Disaster Response Planner
Mike joined PBEM in February 2017 as the bureau’s Procurement manager. In December 2019, he became the bureau’s Disaster Response Planner, where he is responsible for leading collaborative planning processes and developing and documenting emergency response plans for the City.
Prior to joining PBEM, Mike was a Contracting officer for the Department of Human & Health services and served as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army. Mike currently holds a BA in German Studies and an MA in Administration of Justice and Security.
Toni Slightam, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) Grant Coordinator
Toni joined PBEM in April 2022 as the RDPO Grant Coordinator. Toni’s educational background is in Public Administration, but she has a myriad of experience in all sectors—public, private, and non-profit. She’s worked for the Oregon Health Authority, a strategic communications consulting firm, the US Department of State, an international adoption non-profit, a petroleum distribution wholesaler, taught English in Korea, and most recently, she worked as an independent management consultant for state and local governments in the Pacific NW while living in Japan. Toni has a BA in History from Oregon State University, a Project Management Certificate from Willamette University, and a Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University.
Tigger Subotnick, Operations Coordinator
Prior to joining PBEM, Tig worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helping cities, counties, and agencies in Oregon with federal disaster aid. Tig is a 5th generation Portlander (Go Demos!), and a volunteer with the Multnomah County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). He has expertise in emergency management, FEMA's public assistance program, operations and logistics. Tig also has experience in radio broadcasting, film production, and risk management. He has a B.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Concordia University – Portland, and a M.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management with a concentration in Community Resilience from Arizona State University. He also is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and an Associate in Risk Management. You will often see Tig riding his bright red Vespa, cheering on the Portland Pickles, or camping in the great Pacific Northwest.
Kate Szrom, Coordinator, Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
Kate (she/her) joined PBEM in 2021 to coordinate the Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) group. Her work supports community based organizations like nonprofits, faith organizations, and neighborhood groups in their critical work as trusted community leaders before, during, and after emergencies like severe weather, wildfires, and earthquakes.
Kate has a Master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and has previously worked in visual journalism and non-profit communications. She is working toward a graduate certificate in emergency management.
Jeremy Van Keuren, Community Resilience Manager
Jeremy manages the bureau’s volunteer programs and is a duty officer. He has worked for the City of Portland since 2003. He has been a policy manager in Portland City Hall (advising two mayors and one commissioner), worked in finance, housing, and economic development. Jeremy has graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and an Executive Masters of Public Administration.
Ben Weaver, Operations Coordinator
Ben joins PBEM as an Operations Coordinator after most recently overseeing training and curriculum review for a teen-to-teen suicide and crisis line. He spent most of the pandemic managing a state-wide free community Covid-19 testing program in Washington State. Ben graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a communications minor. He relocated to Portland from Tacoma, Wash., and spends his free time riding bikes, cooking and fishing.
Amanda Westervelt, Operations Specialist
Amanda (she/her) joined PBEM in 2021. Among other things, she serves as a duty officer, supports the ECC during emergency activations, supports training and exercise, and helps coordinate Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) deployments. Before shifting to the Operations team, she worked for two years for PBEM’s Community Resilience Team, where she coordinated advanced training and managed deployments for the NET program.
Prior to joining PBEM, Amanda worked as a lead production chemist in California, a managing attorney in North Carolina, a Girl Scout leader and leader mentor, and Richmond NET Team Lead. She is a proud mother of two, and has a Bachelor’s in Biology from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University.
Katy Wolf, Operations Manager
Katy Wolf joined PBEM in 2016. Katy manages the Operations team and is responsible for recruiting and training Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) responders and for developing, conducting, and evaluating exercises designed to test and enhance the City’s capabilities. She serves as the ECC Manager during emergency activations and serves as a duty officer. Katy also started the Boise/Eliot/Humboldt Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET). Before PBEM, Katy worked in energy efficiency program management and business development for six years, and in urban planning and design for two years. Katy holds a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon.