COG’s Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership was presented to two regional leaders, Chris Geldart and James Schwartz, at COG's 2016 Annual Meeting held on December 14. Geldart, the director of the District of Columbia's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, was recognized for his expertise in threat assessment, preparedness, training and exercises, and response and recovery as well as his leadership in overseeing the region’s urban area security initiative grant program.
Schwartz, who currently serves as a Deputy County Manager and previously served as the County’s Fire Chief, was honored for leading regional collaboration around planning, training, mutual aid, and responding to local and regional homeland security incidents, such as his role as Incident Commander on September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Strickland presented Geldart and Schwartz with the awards. Strickland noted both leaders’ ability to work seamlessly among all public safety and homeland security personnel and praised them for their contributions in helping establish a new Homeland Security Executive Committee.
The Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership is presented in the memory of Ron Kirby, COG’s Director of Transportation Planning from 1987 to 2013. The award recognizes non-elected government executives, who work collaboratively with elected officials, stakeholders, and their communities to shape a better region.
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