Colorado Emergency Management Director Appointed

Michael J. Willis began his tenure as the director of the Colorado Office of Emergency Management within the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) on Nov. 15. 

Willis brings more than 28 years of leadership experience as an active duty and Colorado active guard/reserve officer. Most recently he served as the assistant adjutant general of the Colorado National Guard for cyber, space, and missile defense. He also served in numerous other leadership roles within the National Guard with broad responsibilities for strategic planning, complex operations, program management, logistics, and financial management. 

Willis also has extensive experience in disaster relief and all-hazards response and recovery operations including several missions within Colorado. During the 2013 Colorado floods, Willis served as the operational commander for the Colorado National Guard’s ground search and rescue efforts as well as the rebuilding of highway 36. His service to Colorado also includes support during the 2008 Windsor tornado and the 2008 Democratic National Convention 

“Michael Willis is the right person at the right time and will provide critical leadership, guidance and direction for the Office of Emergency Management that will continue and enhance our success before, during and after disasters that impact Colorado”, states Kevin Klein, director of the DHSEM. “We are fortunate to have his vast experience and knowledge to lead us forward.” 

Willis holds a master’s of strategic studies from the United States Army War College and a master’s of science in space systems operations from Webster University. He received his bachelor of art’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado. Willis was selected as the emergency management director after an extensive national search and more than 60 applicants.