Mr. Mark Ghilarducci currently serves as Vice President and Director of the Western States Regional Office of James Lee Witt Associates, providing technical expertise and consultation services to government and the private sector on Crisis and Consequence Management, Emergency Services, Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Mr. Ghilarducci has over 25 years of diversified service in the Emergency Management, Fire, EMS and Rescue disciplines. He is the former Deputy Director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). Appointed in December 2000, by Governor Gray Davis, he was responsible for statewide Emergency Operations & Public Safety, Planning and Training. As Deputy Director, Mr. Ghilarducci chaired the Technical Committee of the State's Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Advisory Board, and co-chaired both the State Strategic Committee on Terrorism (SSCOT), the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Body and the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). 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 the President he directed and coordinated federal response and recovery operations following the declaration of major disasters and/or emergencies. Mr. Ghilarducci also served for over ten years as the Deputy Fire Chief of the Fire and Rescue Division with the California Office of Emergency Services. There, he directed Special Operations which included state fire and rescue mutual aid response and administration, to included development, administration and response activities relating to Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), swiftwater and flood rescue operations, emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous materials, terrorism response and planning, special events and training. This also included the coordination and management of California's eight multi-disciplinary Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces.
Operationally, Mr. Ghilarducci has been involved in disaster 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) earthquake, providing technical advice on fire, rescue and recovery operations to the Japanese Foreign Ministry and Prefectural Governments of Osaka and Kobe; as Commander of the National US&R Incident Management Team, dispatched to manage technical urban search and 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.
At the national level, Mr. Ghilarducci served as an appointee to the National US&R Response System Advisory Committee. Serving for over ten years, he has provided direction and advice to FEMA on the implementation and operation of the National US&R Response System and its related activities. Mr. Ghilarducci also sits as an Expert Panelist for the RAND Corporation at the Center for Domestic and International Health Security, California Public Health Infrastructure Project and he is one of ten individuals chosen to train mayors and other senior city and state officials throughout the United States in terrorism preparedness, strategy, response and recovery for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice under the Nunn-Lugar Domenici anti-terrorism programs.
Mr. Ghilarducci has lectured at numerous colleges and conferences throughout the world and has provided instruction and consultation to many foreign governments, and has been a contributing author to several trade journals and technical books.
He received his 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, John F. Kennedy School of Government.