Michael D. Brown

Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security


A prominent public figure, Michael Brown has garnered over 25 years in public service focused primarily on public safety, preparedness and emergency management. Mr. Brown led the U.S. federal response to over 160 Presidential declared disasters, which have included some of the largest and worst in human history:

  • 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon;
  • Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003;
  • Bam Iran earthquake;
  • 2003 historic California and Western U.S. Wildfire season;
  • the unprecedented string of hurricanes that swept the Southeastern United States in 2004 and
  • 2005;
  • the tsunami in South Asia; and
  • Hurricane Katrina.


Nominated by President George W. Bush to several U.S. Homeland Security positions, Mr. Brown was twice confirmed by the United States Senate. President Bush nominated Mr. Brown as the first Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security ’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Directorate. That nomination was preceded by his unique experience as the President’s appointee to lead a White House Transition Planning Office team for the newly created Department, making him the only Presidential nominee to work in a legacy agency (FEMA), on the transition team for the new Department, and as one of only four Under Secretaries overseeing the new Department. He also served on the Department’s Investment Review Board, overseeing the $41 billion budget and investment decisions of the Department.

Mr. Brown served as the U.S. Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NA TO) Civil Emergency Planning Committee. In that role he negotiated and mediated agreements among NATO member countries. His NATO experience led to numerous diplomatic missions throughout Europe. He was a member of the U.S. – Great Britain Contact Working Group, which sought to strengthen homeland security initiatives between the two countries.

As the leader of a delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, he was at the forefront of helping European nations understand the homeland security initiatives and concerns of the United States.

Mr. Brown negotiated a ten – year cooperative agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation. He led an intensive effort at furthering cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in the areas of homeland security, domestic response to disasters and international cooperation in responding to terrorist events outside the two countries. He has traveled extensively in Russia and developed contacts and relationships throughout the Putin government.

Prior to his nomination as Under Secretary of Homeland Security, President Bush appointed him as General Counsel to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the President nominated Mr. Brown as the Deputy Director of FEMA, where he oversaw and managed more than 13,000 full and part time employees and a $12 billion budget of FEMA, the National Flood Insurance Administration, the U.S. Fire A dministration, the National Disaster Medical System, the Nuclear Incident Response Teams, the Domestic Emergency Support Team, the Office of National Security Coordination and the Office of International Affairs.

During Mr. Brown’s tenure, he led FEMA through its then greatest period of activity in its 26 – year history.

Prior to joining FEMA, he practiced law in Colorado and Oklahoma, where he served as a bar examiner on ethics and professional responsibility for the Oklahoma Supreme Court and as a hearing examiner for the Colorado Supreme Court. He has served as a special prosecutor in police disciplinary matters. While attending law school he was appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee of the Oklahoma Legislature as the Finance Committee Staff Director, where he oversaw state fiscal issues.

During his legal career, Mr. Brown negotiated manufacturing contracts in Brazil, France and Argentina. He has negotiated oil and gas offshore drilling concessions with government of Peru. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, a private electrical utility. He has served in numerous nonprofit associations and was the first Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association, where he oversaw the implementation of ethics and management systems.

His background in emergency management began with his career in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he served as Assistant to the City Manager. In that position, he worked closely with emergency services, including the police and fire departments, and coordinated the City’s development of emergency contingency plans and the creation of an emergency operations center.


Dole Institute of Politics; Lawrence, Kansas

City Club of Cleveland; Cleveland, Ohio

Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals; Los Angeles, California

Metropolitan College of New York, New York City

EMERCOM Annual Exercise, St. Petersburg, Russia

Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, Orlando, Florida

Public Relations Society of America, Colorado Chapter, Denver, Colorado

Johns Hopkins University; Washington, DC

Macy’s Department Stores; New York

International Disaster & Emergency Preparedness Institute; London, England

National Conference of Mayors, Washington, DC

The New School of New York, New York City

Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel e Energias Renovaveis; Rome, Italy

State Street Corporation; Boston, Massachusetts

United Kingdom Floodfighters Conference; London, England

Swedish Defence Ministry; Stockholm, Sweden

3N Communications; Los Angeles, California

Colorado Association of Stormwater & Floodplain Managers, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Institute for Policy & Strategy, Lauder School of Government & Diplomacy; Herzliya, Israel

Business Roundtable, Tel Aviv, Israel

Royal United Services Institute; London, England

The Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals; San Diego, California

The Emergency Planning Society; London, England

Michigan Association of School Boards Annual Conference; Detroit, Michigan

International Association of Emergency Managers; Orlando, Florida

Ranger American 25th Anniversary; San Juan, Puerto Rico

Florida Association of Municipal Utilities; Miami, Florida

Tampa-St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce; Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida

Oklahoma Emergency Management Annual Conference; Tulsa, Oklahoma

NATO Civil Preparedness Committee; Brussels, Belgium

Northrup-Grumman Corporation; Los Angeles, California

GCC Cybersecurity Conference, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In Plant Printing & Mailing Association, Denver, CO

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Springs, CO

Los Angeles County Public Health Department, Los Angeles, California


1978 University of Central Oklahoma – Bachelors of Arts, Public Administration/Political Science

1981 Oklahoma City University’s School of Law – Juris Doctorate (also taught as an Adjunct Professor)