Meet the New President of IAEM-USA: Judson Freed

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) has established a long and fruitful relationship with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) that continues to grow as CHDS master’s alumnus Judson (or, Judd) Freed takes the reins as IAEM President of the USA Council.

Judd Freed was officially sworn in as President of IAEM-USA on November 23, 2020.

The IAEM is a non-profit educational organization with over 6,000 members, dedicated to promoting the Principles of Emergency Management and representing those professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters. The mission dovetails well with CHDS’ educational and programmatic objectives, so it makes sense that the two organizations form a strong partnership. For the past eleven years, IAEM and CHDS have partnered to present the annual Leadership Symposium, usually scheduled in conjunction with the annual conference and sponsored by FEMA. This year’s symposium was conducted in November and focused on topics such as “Complexity in Crisis” and “Disaster Resilience 2035 – Emerging Trends and Future Strategies.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symposium was delivered remotely in a virtual format this year. “Our relationship with IAEM keeps us connected to the broader discipline of emergency management,” noted CHDS Director Glen Woodbury. “It helps us test our ideas and curriculum with real world practitioners. Their annual conference is an excellent setting for this symposium.”

While the Leadership Symposium represents a longstanding collaboration, IAEM and CHDS have also embarked on some new projects recently—such as the CHDS Executive Education Program’s Lecture and Webinar Series. Challenges confronting leaders are changing rapidly, requiring new outlets for instruction that allow delivery of topical content in a rapid, virtual, and asynchronous environment to reflect the current state of affairs. The Lecture & Webinar Series was developed with these principles in mind. Focusing on the public health and safety, homeland security, and emergency management communities, IAEM and CHDS have partnered to host live webinars on diverse topics ranging from “Strategic Planning for Reopening” to “Examining Housing and Shelter Systems in Disasters During COVID-19” to “Management of Congregate Jail Populations During COVID-19.” Many of the past Lecture and Webinar Series recordings are available to watch on the Executive Education Program website.

Judd Freed was officially sworn in during the Closing Session of the IAEM Reimagined Virtual Conference on November 23, 2020. “While I realize that in a single term no president can make sweeping change, I am determined to work to advance the profession of emergency management and rid us of the false label that EM is a ‘new’ profession that cannot identify itself and thus should be buried under some other agency.” He’s the perfect candidate with over 30 years of experience in emergency management, homeland security, risk, resilience and continuity. He’s served as Director of emergency management and homeland security in Ramsey County, Minnesota, since 2003. Ramsey County is one of the nation’s most densely-populated, large urban counties.

Freed completed the NPS-CHDS master’s program in 2011 (MA 1001/1002) and his thesis, titled “No Failure of Imagination: Examining Foundational Flaws in America’s Homeland Security Enterprise,” focused on resolving the inherent constitutional tension between the federal and state governments. Prior to his election as president of IAEM-USA, he served two terms as president of IAEM-USA Region 5 and served on various IAEM committees. He is past president of the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers and is a commissioner to, and treasurer for, the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).