Cristine McCombs

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  • Henry Toll Fellow for the Council of State Governments
  • Associates Degree in the Arts, Mount Ida College, MA

Cristine McCombs

Regional Client Service Director

Cristine McCombs has more than 25 years of experience assisting and supporting local, state, and federal governments and private sector businesses with managing emergencies and improving their preparedness level to address emerging threats. She is the former Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), appointed by the Governor, and the first woman to ever lead that 100-person agency.

Under Cristine’s leadership, Massachusetts became the 8th state to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) and one of only 11 states to achieve the top grade level from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Plan Review regarding preparation to respond to a catastrophic event.   She also led the state’s preparations for large-scale events such as the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and the annual Boston Marathon.

Cristine has a proven track record of excellence in preparing for and responding to emergencies. She works directly with clients to assess their specialized needs and to identify the capabilities that they need to expand to make their community, business or agency safer and more resilient. Cristine excels at leading complex planning programs, as well as training and exercise programs, for many top-tier transit agencies, private sector energy companies, and state energy regulatory agencies.

Cristine is well versed in developing recovery strategies for states in the immediate aftermath of a presidential disaster declaration and reviewing eligibility for public assistance and hazard mitigation efforts. Widely admired as a leader and expert in emergency management operations, she is routinely sought out by professional organizations for her insights and opinions. In 2006, Cristine was selected as one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation to participate in the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship Program, sponsored by the Council of State Governments.  She was nominated by the New England State Directors of Emergency Management to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Emergency Management Association; she was one of two State Directors selected to serve on the Emergency Management Performance Grants Task Force; she was named Chairwoman of Northeast States Emergency Consortium; she was selected to serve on the first in the nation independent safety evaluation panel to review Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), New York; and she was selected as the Strategic Advisor to the Chief of Emergency Management and Corporate Security for Amtrak.

A dedicated volunteer, Cristine received the Frederick Law Olmstead Award for her work on the Muddy River Restoration Project in 2007 and the American Red Cross Clara Barton Humanitarian Award in 2006 for her work with Operation Helping Hands following Hurricane Katrina. The Clara Barton Honor Award is the highest award the American Red Cross bestows on volunteers and recognizes meritorious service in volunteer leadership.

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