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Governor Larry Hogan Names Russell Strickland as MEMA Director

Strickland to succeed Clay Stamp, who will become senior adviser and GEMAC chair

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Russell J. Strickland, former director of the Harford County Department of Emergency Services, has been appointed the new executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Mr. Strickland has over four decades of experience in the fields of emergency services and management, first responder activities, law enforcement, and fire inspection and investigation.

Strickland will replace Executive Director Clay Stamp, who was appointed by the governor on Jan. 15, 2015. Stamp will assume a new role as senior adviser to the governor for emergency management, and will also chair the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council (GEMAC), a group of professionals and academics in the emergency management and homeland security fields who advise the governor on all emergency-management matters. Stamp will lead the Council and help develop updated emergency management strategy and planning for Maryland.

“Russell will bring a wealth of public safety and management experience to MEMA,” said Governor Hogan. “He has a proven ability to work effectively under pressure, and offer fair and objective decisions in times of crisis. I am very excited to have him join our administration.

“I also want to thank Clay for his unwavering service as executive director of MEMA,” Governor Hogan continued. “From helping our citizens through last winter’s snowstorms to guiding us through the riots and unrest in Baltimore City, Clay is the very definition of a leader. I am grateful he will continue to serve as a trusted adviser, as well as lead the efforts to revitalize GEMAC, which is integral to protecting Marylanders from potential threats and emergencies.”

Strickland began his career in public safety as a dispatcher at the Elkton Police Department in Cecil County. He then became a police officer at the University of Maryland Police Department, and later, a fire investigator and inspector at the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM). While at OSFM, Strickland was a member of the state’s first Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Strickland went on to serve in a number of positions, including assistant director, at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) at the University of Maryland. In addition to his work at MFRI, Strickland was an adjunct faculty member who gave classroom instruction to fire and emergency service providers throughout Maryland.

In 2004, Strickland transferred to MEMA on executive loan from the University of Maryland and worked as a deputy director there until mid-2008. He then joined the staff of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a member of the Awareness and Response Information Systems Group, which provides expertise in local, state, and federal homeland security and emergency management.

Strickland has a B.A. in criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.S. in management from Frostburg State University. He is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations, including the American Red Cross and FEMA advisory councils.

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