Pete Gaynor

Pete Gaynor

Keynote Presenter

Vice President, Resiliency and Disaster Recovery (RDR), Hill International.

On January 11, 2021, Pete was designated as the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security by President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Gaynor was officially confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be FEMA Administrator on January 14, 2020. Previously, he served as the Senate-confirmed Deputy FEMA Administrator.

During his time at FEMA, he led the agency’s response to more than three hundred presidentially declared emergencies and major disasters. During the historic year of 2020, Pete oversaw FEMA’s first ever operational response to a nationwide pandemic while simultaneously responding to a record number of disasters. As a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Pete directed FEMA’s operational coordination for the whole-of-Government response to COVID-19.

In 2020, in addition to leading the COVID-19 response, Pete led the federal response to the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history, with a record of thirty named storms as well as directing the response to a historic West Coast wildfire season.

Prior to FEMA, he led emergency management agencies for the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence.

Prior to his experience as an emergency manager, Mr. Gaynor served for 26 years as an enlisted Marine and Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Gaynor received a bachelor’s degree in history from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI. He is also a graduate of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders Program.

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