Chief Executive Officer
President of Inclusive Emergency Management Strategies and CEO of the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies providing local, national and global disability rights leadership through a variety of contracted and collaborative projects committed to a shared mission of disability rights, equal access and full inclusion for the whole community before, during and after disasters. Her primary focus is on capacity building for community leaders and emergency management stakeholders working together to prepare for emergencies and recover from disasters by providing tools, resources, training and technical assistance to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards, optimizing accessibility as a critical lifesaving and life sustaining foundation for building and sustaining community-wide resilience.
Ms. Roth is a global disability rights leader and an expert on whole community inclusive emergency preparedness and disaster response, recovery and mitigation. Her focus on emergency management began in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, serving as an advisor to the White House on the rights and urgent needs of disaster survivors with disabilities living in the area around ground zero. She was appointed by President Obama to the U.S Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2009 to 2017, serving as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and congressionally mandated Disability Coordinator for the agency. While at FEMA, she established the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC), serving as its Director. Under her leadership, ODIC led national transformation towards integrating the access and functional needs of the whole community throughout emergency preparedness and disaster response, recovery and mitigation.
Charged with establishing and building FEMA’s Disability Integration Cadre to ultimately include 285 deployable disability integration specialists, Ms. Roth managed over 400 disaster deployments, frequently serving as lead advisor to the presidentially appointed Federal Coordinating Officer and collaborating with affected state and local emergency management leadership and stakeholder groups. She also led the work of the Department of Homeland Security Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities, established through a presidential executive order in 2004 and she has represented the U.S. government internationally as an expert on whole community inclusive global disaster risk reduction since 2012, serving as a leader throughout the development and implementation of the post-2015 Global Development Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. In addition to her specific inclusive emergency management focus, Roth has served in senior and executive leadership roles for national non-profit organizations since 1996.
Ms. Roth was a 2017 Hilton Foundation Fellow, addressing the disproportionate impact of climate change on individuals with disabilities and their communities. In 2018, she contributed several high impact publications, including an After-Action Report on the 2017 catastrophic disasters, Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right-Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters, a comprehensive eLearning course for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and A Resilient Community is One That Includes and Protects Everyone, published in the February 2018 issue of the Journal, “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”.
Ms. Roth is a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellow with a BS in Public Safety Administration from the University of Maryland University College.