CLASSMATE SPOTLIGHT:Â Kurt Schwartz
Kurt Schwartz has served since 2010 as the director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which is state agency that operates the State Emergency Operations Center and coordinates the state’s response to disasters, and is responsible for ensuring the state’s preparedness to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures.
As director, Kurt has managed the response to, and recovery from a number of presidentially declared disasters resulting from floods, tornadoes, blizzards and severe winter storms, hurricanes, a massive water system failure in 2010 that disrupted water supplies to three million people, the 2013 terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, and the 2015 record-breaking winter storms that dropped nine feet of snow in central and eastern Massachusetts in four weeks.
From 2010 to early in 2015, while serving as the director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Kurt also served as the undersecretary for homeland security in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.Â In that role, he provided strategic leadership to the Massachusetts National Guard, the Department of Fire Services, the Commonwealth Fusion Center, and the Homeland Security Division, and he served as the state’s homeland security advisor and chair of the State’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.Â From 2007 to 2010, he served as the undersecretary for law enforcement in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
Prior to his appointment in 2007 as an undersecretary of public safety, Kurt worked for 19 years as a state criminal prosecutor, including five years as chief of the Criminal Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and eight years as chief of the Special Investigations Unit in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.Â Before that, Kurt served as a police officer and an emergency medical technician