Former FEMA Regional Administrator and Chicago-Area Aviation Executive Joins IEM

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 1:00 PM EDT

Longtime safety and security expert will oversee major metropolitan emergency management and homeland security services

MORRISVILLE, N.C., June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- IEM, the largest woman-and minority-owned disaster recovery and emergency management global consulting firm, has named Andrew Velasquez III the new Director of Big City Emergency Management. Velasquez will support IEM's emergency management projects, including disaster response and recovery efforts to build resilience, in large metropolitan areas.

IEM Logo (PRNewsfoto/Innovative Emergency Management, Inc.)
IEM Logo (PRNewsfoto/Innovative Emergency Management, Inc.)(PRNewswire)
IEM, a global consulting firm, named Andrew Velasquez III the new Director of Big City Emergency Management.

"Andrew is a proven leader who will contribute to IEM's efforts to address complex challenges that large cities face," said IEM's Bryan Koon, Vice President of International Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "With such a high concentration of people, big cities face costly disasters and emergencies. Under Andrew's leadership, IEM looks forward to further growing our support to communities in large metropolitan areas, to help these jurisdictions mitigate and reduce risk, build resiliency, and save lives during unexpected events."

Velasquez joins IEM as the firm expands its focus on providing the resources and tools for strategic planning, program management, and safety, security and resiliency initiatives for major metropolitan areas.

"I look forward to providing the partnership and resources to help decision makers protect those who live, work, or visit these busy centers of activity," said Velasquez, who has over 30 years of experience. "I am excited to apply what I have learned throughout my career in emergency management, homeland security, law enforcement, and aviation to further the goals and mission of IEM and our clients."

Most recently, Velasquez served as the First Deputy Aviation Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) where he oversaw administrative and operational functions of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports. With the recent crisis relating to the influx of asylum seekers in Chicago, the Mayor directly sought his advice and assistance in leading the responsible city agencies in their support planning and response operations.
Previously, Velasquez was CDA's Managing Deputy Commissioner of Safety and Security and led airport security operations to ensure safe travel for more than 100 million passengers each year.

Prior to working for the CDA, Velasquez served as the presidentially appointed Regional Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region 5, based in Chicago, where he coordinated preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. While at FEMA, he directed federal response and recovery efforts for 35 major disasters and emergencies.

Velasquez has held state and city cabinet-level positions including Illinois Governor's Homeland Security Advisor, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and Executive Director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). Before joining OEMC, he was a member of the Chicago Police Department for ten years.

Velasquez earned an M.S. in criminal justice from Illinois State University and an MBA in management from Saint Xavier University. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve and completed the Naval Postgraduate School's Executive Leadership programs in Homeland Defense and Security and Radiological Emergency Preparedness.

About IEM
IEM is a global crisis and disaster management consulting firm dedicated to building a safe, secure, and resilient world. Founded in 1985, IEM is the largest woman- and minority-owned firm in the world focused on providing services and expertise across the emergency management cycle — from preparedness and mitigation to response and recovery. We integrate science, technology, and real-world experience to provide our customers with innovative solutions and outcomes that matter. For information, visit

View original content to download multimedia:


The above press release was provided courtesy of PRNewswire. The views, opinions and statements in the press release are not endorsed by Gray Media Group nor do they necessarily state or reflect those of Gray Media Group, Inc.