Mark S. Ghilarducci serves as the Director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), appointed July 1, 2013 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Ghilarducci previously served as Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) appointed in February 2012 by Governor Brown. As a member of the Cabinet, Director Ghilarducci serves as the Governor's Homeland Security Advisor (HSA) and oversees statewide public safety, emergency management, emergency communications, counter-terrorism efforts and the State Threat Assessment System (STAS). His duties include serving as chair of numerous boards and committees and he sits on several state and national commissions and work groups.
Mr. Ghilarducci has over 30 years of diversified service in both the public and private sectors, in the emergency services, fire and rescue and homeland security disciplines.
In 2000, he was appointed as Deputy Director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) by Governor Gray Davis, where he oversaw statewide emergency operations, planning and training.
Prior to his appointment as OES Deputy Director, he served as a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where appointed by President William J. Clinton, he directed and coordinated federal response and recovery operations following numerous presidentially declared disasters and emergencies.
For nine years, Ghilarducci also served as Deputy Fire Chief and Director of Special Operations in the Fire and Rescue Division within the Office of Emergency Services. There, he managed state fire and rescue mutual aid response, Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) administration and technical response operations, swiftwater and flood rescue operations, emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous materials operations and other asymmetrical response and planning events. This also included the coordination and management of California's eight multi-disciplinary State/National US&R Task Forces and development and management of the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Fire and Rescue Training Center.
Operationally, Mr. Ghilarducci has been involved in disaster and emergency response and recovery activities resulting from hundreds of major incidents within California, nationally and internationally. He has served in both command and technical advisory positions at many high profile and complex events, including the collapse of the I-880 Cypress Freeway in Oakland, following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake; the 1995 Great Hanshin (Kobe, Japan) earthquake, providing technical advice on fire, rescue and recovery operations to the Japanese Foreign Ministry and Prefectural Governments of Osaka and Kobe; as the Commander of the National US&R Incident Management Team, dispatched to manage technical rescue operations following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City; as Coordinator of the California response to the World Trade Center and Pentagon Terrorist attacks in 2001; and as an advisor to the State of Louisiana and Governor Kathleen Blanco following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A principal author of the National US&R Response System, Mr. Ghilarducci served for over ten years as an Appointee to National US&R Response System Advisory Committee. In this capacity, he provided direction and advice to FEMA and participating agencies and organizations on the implementation and operation of the US&R Response System, including negotiation of local, state and federal cooperative contracts and related labor/management agreements, development of US&R tactical and operational doctrine and training protocols and standards.
He has sat on numerous national fire, emergency management and homeland security committees and special commissions, including serving as an Expert Panelist for the RAND Corporation at the Center for Domestic and International Health Security, California Public Health Infrastructure Project and National Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Ghilarducci was one of ten individuals chosen to train the Nation's Mayor's, Governor's and other senior city and state officials in terrorism preparedness, strategy, response and recovery for the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD) and Justice (DOJ) under the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici anti-terrorism programs.
Mr. Ghilarducci also worked for ten years in private sector. He served as Vice President and Director of the Western States and Asia -Pacific Office of Witt Associates, an international crisis and consequence management consulting firm, based in Washington DC, and as a Partner with the firm Diamante Partners, LLC, a general management and public policy consulting firm, based in Sacramento, CA. A sought after speaker, Mr. Ghilarducci has delivered presentations at numerous colleges and conferences throughout the world and has provided instruction and consultation to many foreign governments including significant time working in both China and Mexico supporting Emergency Management and Public Safety Capacity Building efforts. He has been a contributing author to several trade journals and technical books.
He received his Bachelors of Science degree in 1987 from the University of California at Davis and in 1996, was named Young Alumnus of the Year by the University. He is a 1998 graduate of the Fellowship Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University, JFK School of Government.