James (Jim)  Mullen

Former Director, Washington State Emergency Management Division

Previously Director Seattle Divisions of Emergency Management
(Semi retired) Sole Proprietor EM Northwest Consulting, LLC


Jim Mullen BIO November 2014

Jim Mullen is a private consultant specializing in emergency management. He served as Director of the Washington State Emergency Management Division for 8 ½ years, retiring from the State of Washington in March 2013. He is currently sole proprietor of “EM Northwest Consulting” based in Seattle.

Prior to serving as Washington State Director, Mr. Mullen was Director of Emergency Management for the City of Seattle, WA for 12 years. His tenure there was marked by numerous awards to his staff for innovative program development. Seattle was a pilot Project Impact city in 1998, winning widespread praise for its effective pre disaster implementation of mitigation in schools and residences. In 2003 he was honored by the International Association of Emergency Managers “For outstanding contributions to the field of emergency management and for establishing himself as an outstanding representative of our discipline.”

While at the state of Washington he ushered in the development of a 2-way day to day interaction between private industry and the state emergency management division. He established a logistics planning capability, and created an exercise and training section that coordinated a thematic E&T effort statewide. Throughout his tenure, he engaged in developing recovery and long term post disaster restoration capabilities, culminating in 2012 with the Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, in which a substantial amount of time and planning was divided among logistics planning, response, and introducing a “Resilient Washington” concept in the restoration/recovery phase of the Series. That concept remains the catalyst for innovative advance planning for post disaster restoration and redevelopment following a catastrophic event. That exercise series also marked the first time that the cross border Pacific Northwest Emergency Management Agreement (PNEMA) was operationally tested with staff deployment across borders and direct interaction in exercise play between the Governors of Alaska and Washington State as a well as the Premier and Solicitor General of British Columbia.

At his direction the nationally recognized Map Your Neighborhood program was designed and implemented in Washington State and has since been adopted in many other states, and has been introduced in several other nations as well.

He served as President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) from January 2011 to October 2012. In the years prior to assuming the presidency of NEMA Mr. Mullen chaired the NEMA Mitigation Committee, where he spearheaded the organization of the National Mitigation Alliance. Mr. Mullen was a forthright advocate for consideration of interdependencies beyond the disaster and for greater emphasis on maintenance of supply chains: uncommon a few years ago but now a staple of state director discussions. A major accomplishment was the solidification in a divided Congress of the worth of the Emergency Management Performance Grants, and the introduction of a White Paper by NEMA that proposed a comprehensive reform of Homeland Security related grants to assure the flexibility for local and state emergency managers while guaranteeing the accountability Congress and federal Administrations rightfully expect. Although initially controversial, the essence of that Homeland Security Grant Reform proposal can be easily found within the President’s proposed 2015 Budget.