Thirty-two students complete Emergence Program at NPS-CHDS

Ellen Gordon, Associate Director of Executive Education Programs, addresses the group. (Photo courtesy of Javier Baltazar, NPS-CHDS)

On April 12, thirty-two students completed the Emergence Program at Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS). They are the third cohort of students to complete the program since inception in 2017, increasing the number of Emergence alumni to a total of 96 students. Emergence Program alumni represent future leadership of the homeland security enterprise, and include professionals from the fields of emergency management, education, law enforcement, fire service, homeland security, public health, and city/county government.

The burgeoning Emergence Program targets homeland security practitioners in the early stages of their careers to address emerging issues and trends while honing their innovative thinking and policy development skills. Topics included traditional homeland security matters along with new components such as an Innovation Lab, individual action plans and presentations, and a group policy exercise.

Group photo of the Emergence participants. (photo courtesy of Javier Baltazar/NPS-CHDS)

During the 8-month online and in-residence program, students collaborated with emerging homeland security officials from across the nation on current policy, strategy and organizational design challenges. “The Emergence Program is a great atmosphere to learn and understand some of those big picture items instead of just focusing on the specific job functions.” William Powell, FEMA Public Affairs Specialist.

Located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), CHDS is the nation’s homeland security educator. The goal of the Emergence Program is to develop a homeland security workforce with advanced critical thinking and policy development skills. The Emergence Program is open to full-time government employees of a local, state, tribal, territorial, or federal homeland security/public safety agency or a private sector employee with security or safety responsibilities. CHDS is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Preparedness Directorate, within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Emergence cohort 1901 graduation. (photo courtesy of Javier Chagoya/NPS-PAO)


Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Emergence Program, cohort 1901

Wade Arnold – Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard

Sean Colby – Fire Lieutenant, Boston Fire Department

Amy Cornell-Titcomb – Emergency Management Program Manager, Utah Transit Authority

Kerri Cossean – Program Analyst, FEMA

Joseph Deutsch – Master Technician, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

Natalie Elvidge – Homeland Security Program Manager, State of Vermont, Department of Public Safety

Ian Fields – Trooper, Michigan State Police

Laura Fletcher – Manager, Global Security, American Express Co.

Michael Giardina – Homeland Security Planning Coordinator, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

Ian Gutch – Firefighter, FDNY

Matthew Heath – Firefighter, Camden Fire Department

Jered Hidlebaugh – Narcotics Detective, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Patrick Juhasz – Firefighter EMT, Olympia Fire Department

Joshua Kelly – Planning Supervisor, Delaware Emergency Management Agency

Sara Khah – Police Officer, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

Daniel Koski – Police Officer, NYPD – Counterterrorism Bureau

Manuel Madero – Officer, California Highway Patrol

Ashleigh Makuch – SERRPNIMS Planning Coordinator, Arizona Dept. of Emergency and Military Affairs

Rita Martin – Special Agent, Criminal Investigator, United States Secret Service

Danielle May – Deputy Director, City of Amarillo, Amarillo Area Office of Emergency Management

Courtney Mayard – Disaster Safety Program Manager, Medical City Plano in Plano, TX.

Laura Mellem – Public Engagement Manager, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Laqwon Perryman – Deportation Officer, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security

Nathaniel Porter – Sergeant, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

William Powell – Public Affairs Specialist, FEMA

Emily Rohman – Quarantine Public Health Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dana Roth – Refugee Officer, USCIS

Joshua Simmons – Special Agent, United States Secret Service

Jonathan Smith – Immigration Officer, USCIS-FDNS

Amanda Strait – Police Officer II, Boise Police Department

*One student has been omitted from this list, per request.