Lori Moore-Merrell Named U.S. Fire Administrator

Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell

Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell has been named the new U.S. Fire Administrator and will be sworn in during a ceremony this morning.

Dr. Moore-Merrell was most recently the President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute. She began this role in 2019 after serving 26 years as a senior executive in the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), responsible for frontline interaction with elected officers, executive board members, state, provincial and local chapter leaders and individual organization members throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is considered an expert in executive leadership, emergency response system evaluation, public safety resource deployment, community risk assessment, data science/analytics, strategic planning, costs and benefits analysis, advocacy, consensus building, policy development and implementation, and generational differences in the workplace.

As a Doctor of Public Health and a data scientist, Dr. Moore-Merrell recently served on the Biden-Harris Transition team to conduct agency review for DHS/FEMA as part of the COVID19 response planning. She has also served on the Public Safety Committee of the Transition Teams for both the Mayor of New York City (2013) and the Mayor of the District of Columbia (2015). Dr. Moore-Merrell serves on National and International Boards of Directors and advises elected officials, chief executive officers, and local metropolitan fire chiefs in areas of her expertise while providing them scientific data to make fact-based decisions. She was recently awarded Honorary Membership in the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association for her expertise in areas of Fire Prevention, Fire Suppression, or other related disciplines. Dr. Moore-Merrell is only the fourth individual to be presented this honor in the 54-year history of the organization.

Dr. Moore-Merrell is an international speaker, presenter, and author. She is a presenter at FDIC International, the world’s largest fire training conference, produced by Clarion Events. She has also been awarded the James O. Page Achievement award by the EMS Section of the IAFC (2001), twice awarded the IAFC President’s Award for commitment to Firefighter Safety (2009, 2019), the Dr. John Granito Award for Excellence in Fire Leadership and Management Research (2010), the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs President’s Award of Distinction (2013), the Mason Lankford Award from the Congressional Fire Services Institute (2019) and the Homeland Security Today Mission Award (2020). Dr. Moore-Merrell is a principal member of the NFPA 3000 Technical Committee and is an advisor to the Chair of the NFPA 1710 Technical Committee. She served nine years as a Commissioner to the Commission for Fire Service Accreditation (CFAI) and three terms as a board member for the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Dr. Moore-Merrell is a member of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) Executive Board, as well as the UL Fire Council.

During her 26 years at the IAFF, Dr. Moore-Merrell spent more than 17 years leading a research team made up of international fire service organizations and other partners including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), the Urban Institute, the University of Texas, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. As principal investigator and senior project manager on projects funded by FEMA/ Assistance to Firefighters Grants totaling more than $23 Million, she led the team to produce landmark reports and other tools to improve Residential and High-Rise Fireground Operations, Community Risk Assessment, Fire and EMS Resource Deployment, and ‘Big Data Analytics’… all to help drive executive decision-making. These reports and other resources have changed the face of fire and EMS deployment in countries throughout the world.

Dr. Moore-Merrell has also managed emergency response system evaluation project teams, including secure data procurement, geographic information systems (GIS) analysis, and workload analysis in hundreds of fire departments throughout North America. Along with a small group of fire service leaders, Dr. Moore-Merrell recently founded the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) with a mission to assure that every local public safety agency can show their response capability, reliability, and operational performance using their own local data. www.i-psdi.org

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