- Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Dawn Brantley as Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Elaine Driscoll, Director of Communications and Policy
Boston — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced the appointment of Dawn Brantley as Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), effective immediately.
Brantley brings over 15 years of emergency management and disaster recovery experience at the state and local levels. Serving as MEMA’s Acting Director since October 2021, Brantley launched the Northeast Emergency Management Training & Education Center, and guided preparedness planning for major storms and large-scale events, including two Boston Marathons. During her tenure as acting director, Dawn also led mass care response efforts for several temporary sheltering operations and secured New England’s first-ever National Mass Care training exercise, scheduled to take place in Massachusetts in October 2023.
“Dawn Brantley is a proven and respected leader, who has dedicated her career to protecting communities, ensuring equitable and inclusive emergency planning, and building strong local, state, and federal partnerships,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen Massachusetts’ readiness and resiliency and lessening climate-related impacts through comprehensive emergency management planning.”
“Dawn’s specialized knowledge in crisis mitigation, pre-disaster planning, and improved outcomes will advance Massachusetts toward a more resilient and sustainable future,” said Lt. Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “I am confident that under Dawn’s leadership, the highly skilled MEMA team will continue to enhance emergency preparedness statewide by engaging municipal leaders across the state and help to ensure that our communities are weather-and-climate-ready.”
“Dawn’s steady leadership and unique skills underscore her ability to guide MEMA amid the rapidly evolving threat landscape facing modern emergency management,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “MEMA’s mission to enhance the Commonwealth’s preparedness will be well served by Dawn’s vast experience in emergency management, disability integration, and inclusive emergency planning.”
“I am grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration and Secretary Reidy for their confidence in me and honored to serve Massachusetts in this role,” said Director Brantley. “Working alongside the dedicated and talented MEMA team, I look forward to serving the people of Massachusetts by advancing emergency planning centered on policies that prioritize equity, accessibility and inclusion.”
MEMA is the state agency responsible for ensuring the Commonwealth’s preparedness to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. From large-scale events to severe weather response, MEMA’s vital mission strengthens Massachusetts’ emergency readiness by assessing threats and mitigating hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and fortifying the state’s capacity to rebuild and recover.
About Dawn Brantley, JD, CEM, ADAC
With over 16 years in emergency management at the local, regional, state, and federal levels, Dawn Brantley has responded to multiple disasters, implemented inclusive programs and services, led agency-wide improvements, and championed accessible and equitable emergency planning nationwide.
Brantley was appointed as MEMA’s Acting Director in October 2021 and is credited with advancing the Commonwealth’s preparedness and resiliency by implementing essential training programs, key mitigation initiatives, and strong stakeholder partnerships. She joined the agency in January 2020 as Assistant Director for Planning and Preparedness and supervised the Nuclear Preparedness Unit, Planning Unit, Public Information Unit, and Training and Exercise Unit. Throughout the pandemic, Brantley managed Massachusetts’ statewide COVID isolation hotel program, including developing the online system to manage intake, tracking and reporting.
Before joining MEMA, Brantley served as Strategic Planning Branch Chief at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, serving in several capacities, including Access & Functional Needs Officer, Acting Director of External Affairs, Human Service Branch Coordinator and Sheltering Coordinator.
Brantley has extensive field response experience and has held various emergency management positions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management.
Brantley holds a JD, CEM, and ADA Coordinator certification and psychology and human services degrees. She is a national expert in access, functional needs, and inclusive emergency management.