Desiree Matel-Anderson

Guest Speaker

Chief Wrangler, Field Innovation Team

Areas of Expertise


About Desiree

Desiree (Desi) Matel-Anderson is the Chief Wrangler of the not-for-profit organization Field Innovation Team (FIT) and CEO of the Global Disaster Innovation Group, LLC. Ms. Matel-Anderson is the first and former Chief Innovation Advisor at FEMA and Think Tank Strategic Vision Coordinator. During her tenure at FEMA, she led the first innovation team down to Hurricane Sandy to provide real-time problem solving in disaster response and recovery. She also ran think tanks nation-wide to cultivate innovation in communities, which have historically trended globally on social media during the broadcasts. The Field Innovation Team has deployed to several disasters including, the Boston Marathon Bombings assisting at the scene with social media analysis, Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes for continued mobile registration and coding solutions, Philippines Typhoon Haiyan for cellular connectivity heat maps and the Oso, Washington Mudslides with unmanned aerial system flights and a 3d print of the topography for incident command. Desi began her emergency management experience by volunteering in Northern Illinois University Office of Emergency Planning followed by working with the Southeast Wisconsin Urban Area Security Initiative, and the City of Milwaukee meland Security and Emergency Management Office. In addition to her regional emergency management duties, she worked as an assessor of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program Assessor nation-wide which included assessing the City of Boston emergency management services prior to the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. She has also worked on numerous innovative projects with agencies, communities, organizations and companies throughout her career. Desi also lectures on innovation at Harvard and various universities across the country and serves as consultant for agencies and governments, nationally and internationally, on innovative practices and infrastructure. Desi attended the National Preparedness Leadership Institute at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health in 2011, advised on Harvard Executive Education on National Preparedness Leadership Institute Advisory Board in 2013 and obtained a Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University in 2009.

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