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Strategic and Policy Level Executive Leadership

In collaboration with academia, renowned practitioners and industry leaders, Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has created the National Emergency Management Executive Academy to produce a comprehensive and contemporary curriculum supporting the advancement of strategic and policy level executive leadership.

The National Emergency Management Executive Academy provides an ideal setting for a diverse representation of senior emergency management leaders to come together in a collaborative learning environment to explore contemporary and emerging 21st century challenges. The program hones strategic leadership thinking for senior leaders involved with multi-jurisdictional, national, international, public health, private industry, and institutes of higher education homeland security and emergency management policy development responsibilities. Participants work collaboratively on capstone projects, leveraging the wealth of knowledge they bring to the cohort, in order to improve doctrine, policy, and practice to shape the future of the emergency management profession.

If you have a suggestion for a specific emergency management challenge that you would like an executive cohort team to consider for their Academy capstone project, please email

Who Should Apply

The Executive Academy is designed for emergency management senior leaders in State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial governments; non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, and private sector entities. Ideal candidates will serve in key senior leadership positions and are responsible for decisions that have a significant effect on emergency management policies.

The audience may include, but is not limited to:

  • Emergency management and homeland security directors or advisors leading in local, state, multijurisdictional, or large metropolitan areas
  • Emergency management leaders from allied disciplines in the public sector, such as public utilities, K-12 education, higher education, public transportation, and military/DSCA roles
  • Administrators, such as members of the Governor's Cabinet or chief/director of an agency
  • Federal administrators, at the Appointed or Senior Executive Service (SES)/GS15 level
  • Directors of voluntary organizations.

EMI will select up to 30 emergency management executives to participate in the Executive Academy per year. Each Cohort will reflect a Whole Community composition.

Depth and breadth of experience in an EM position or applicable work experience will be considered for exceptional candidates.

Classroom Course Requirements

The Executive Academy consists of the following 4 classroom courses, comprising 16 days (128 hours) of learning. Attendance at each course is mandatory.

  • E0680: Examining Emergency Management Policy and Doctrine

    • Classroom Delivery

      Resident (E), Virtual (K)

    • EMI, partnering with our Nation's best and brightest, will convey cutting edge models and approaches to the core competencies areas of systems thinking for emergency management, leading complex systems, methodologies to take ideas from inception to innovation, net centric visioning and designing, presenting for impact. The course is highly interactive and includes relevant case studies and realistic simulation exercises for emergency management executives.

    • Course Length

      4 days (32 hours)

  • E0682: Leading Complex Systems

    • Classroom Delivery

      Resident (E), Virtual (K)

    • This course provides the emergency management leader current research and experiential activities to refine the competency areas of critical thinking, applying decision making models and theory, continuous learning, emergency management ethics, conflict management, leadership and collaboration and social intelligence. Participants to further develop critical thinking skills and novel problem-solving techniques when dealing with the complexity and pressures that are associated with emergency management executive-level decision-making, specifically applying these competency areas to the program final project.

    • Course Length

      4 days (32 hours)

  • E0684: Interpreting the Contemporary Emergency Management Environment

    • Classroom Delivery

      Resident (E), Virtual (K)

    • This course will focus on the tools and techniques for understanding and managing emergencies and disasters by examining the executive level competencies areas of disaster risk management, scientific, geographic and sociocultural considerations and emerging technology application and adoption. In addition, work on the capstone project will continue and project teams will brief the cohort on their progress.

    • Course Length

      4 days (32 hours)

  • E0686: Creating the Emergency Management Stakeholder Community

    • Classroom Delivery

      Resident (E), Virtual (K)

    • This course will cover the executive level core competencies of facilitating community risk ownership, civics/governance considerations, political skills and influence skills. Management and leadership behaviors, including policy and strategic-level decision making, are emphasized throughout the week. Final culminating academy projects will be presented during this final course to high-level emergency management and/or homeland security officials.

    • Course Length

      4 days (32 hours)

Fiscal Year 2024 Schedule

The NEMEA on campus classroom courses are typically scheduled as one cohort series per year. The courses are not offered individually. Cadidates selected to a cohort must attend each course in sequence, and in person, throughout the series progression within the assigned cohort.

Cohort FY 2024

  • E0680: Mar 4-7, 2024
  • E0682: Apr 22-25, 2024
  • E0684: June 10-13, 2024
  • E0686: Aug 12-15, 2024

Tentative FY 2025

  • E0680: Mar 24-27, 2025
  • E0682: May 5-8, 2025
  • E0684: June 23-26, 2025
  • E0686: Aug 11-14, 2025

NEMEA Selection Process

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Emergency Management Professional Program Branch will start accepting applications for the National Emergency Management Executive Academy (NEMEA) from April 1 – June 1, 2024 for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Cohort. A formal selection board will convene to review the application packages with an announcement of the results made to applicants in August

Applications will be evaluated based on recommended prerequisites to include:

  • Depth and Breadth of direct experience in an EM position, or
  • Applicable work experience will be considered for exceptional candidates

There are a limited number of spaces for the Cohort and applications are expected to be very competitive in nature. Applicants should first look at the entire Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP) website to gauge for which Academy they are best suited. Executive Academy Applicants are encouraged to review all selection and application requirements before submitting their application package.

How to Apply

  1. Verify Qualification

    • Review and verify the candidacy requirements for selection to the NEMEA program
    • Application open period for FY 2025 is April 1 - June 1, 2024
    • Incomplete applications, and applications submitted outside of the open period will not be considered
  2. Download Application Package

    The NEMEA Application Package Document is the only acceptable document to complete when applying to NEMEA. Incomplete packages and additional attachments will not be considered.

    • Download the fillable PDF application package below
    • Save the document in the format required for submission:
      • LastnameFirstname.EA.FY25 (e.g. SmithJessica.EA.FY25)

    NEMEA Application Package

  3. Complete the NEMEA Application Package

    Complete the NEMEA application form within the space provided with this document. This is the only acceptable document to complete when applying to NEMEA. Incomplete packages and additional attachments will not be considered.

    What to include in NEMEA application package:

    • Candidate Information
    • A cover letter requesting consideration for admission to the program and specifying the applicant’s qualifications and expectations of the program
    • Resume with space provided for:
      • Emergency Management Experience (Example: Feb 2020-present; 3 yrs; Director, Maryland EMA)
      • Boards, Commission, Associations (Example: Committee Chair, International Association of Emergency Managers, 2018 – present or Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Chairperson, 2018 – 2020)
      • Education (Example: University of Maryland University College, M.S. Emergency Management, August 2017)
      • Training & Certifications (Example: Title of Course, Training Location, Date attended/completed)
      • Other In the event you need more space from an area above or have additional information you feel the selection panel should take into consideration when reviewing your package.
    • Advanced Academy Commitment Statement indicating a commitment to complete the entire program, which consists of the four resident courses at EMI and the NEMEA Paper
    • Academy Questionnaire consists of five (5) questions reviewed by the selection committee to assist in determining the most qualified candidates
    • A Recommendation letter from your immediate Supervisor. If you are self-employed and do not have an immediate supervisor, then please us your most recent supervisor
    • Signatures section has a location for the electronic signatures of both the applicant and the applicant’s supervisor. If you are self-employed and do not have an immediate supervisor, then please use your most recent supervisor
  4. Submit Application Package

    For consideration of selection to the NEMEA program, simply email the completed application package document to

    • The application package is the only document accepted
    • Incomplete packages and additional attachments will not be considered
    • Ensure the package file name meets the required format above

    Sumbit Application to NEMEA

    Once the selection board concludes in August, you will be notified of the selection status via the email address provided during application.

Tuition and Travel Reimbursement

There is no cost of tuition for the Executive Academy courses.

Some individuals taking courses at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland may be eligible for stipend reimbursement. For information about travel reimbursement eligibility and procedures, see the NETC Welcome Package.

Eligible for stipend reimbursement

  • State, local or tribal government representatives.
  • Recognized volunteer organization representatives.
  • Active emergency management organization representatives.
  • Representatives from state or local fire organizations

Not eligible for reimbursement

  • Federal government. (Federal students are subject to federal travel regulations and travel under orders prepared by their office.)
  • Private industry employees.
  • Employees who are contracted to federal, state, or local government entities (such as rural-metro departments).
  • Representatives of a foreign organization.

Further Information

For more information about the NEMEA, please see the EMPP list of frequently asked questions

For further inquiries about the Executive Academy, please see the EMPP points of contact list

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