UW Emergency Management

Steven Charvat biography

Steven J. Charvat, MPA, CEM
Emergency Management Director
University of Washington

Steve CharvCharvat_Steve August 2013at is the current (and very first) Emergency Management Director for the University of Washington in Seattle. Selected in April 2003 after a nationwide search, Mr. Charvat has been responsible for developing a comprehensive emergency management and business and academic continuity program that now serves as a model for other colleges and universities nationwide.

Previously, he served as the Director of the Training, Exercise, Mitigation and Plans Division for the District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC. In this role, he supervised a professional staff responsible for District-wide plans, training, exercising, as well as mitigation programs that promoted the preparedness and reduction or elimination of known natural and human-caused disasters and threats. He was responsible for coordinating all anti-terrorism planning, recovery efforts and financial reimbursements on behalf of the District after a major disaster or declared emergency, which included the 9/11 and the Anthrax attacks of 2001.

From 1999 – 2000, Mr. Charvat was the Emergency Management Practice Area Leader for the Marasco Newton Group (now SRA) an employee-owned consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia. In that capacity, he developed a business contingency/recovery program for the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing and managed other projects with the US Department of Treasury, US Army Corps of Engineers, US EPA and the US Department of Transportation.

From 1988 – 1999, he served as the first full-time Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Phoenix, Arizona, the nation’s sixth largest city (population 1,260,000). In this capacity, he was responsible for the multi-department planning and emergency management training, exercising and contingency/disaster preparedness, response and recovery for the entire City. He served as the City’s official liaison with County and State emergency management officials as well as City’s Applicant Agent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He was tasked with coordinating the City’s planning and training efforts to respond to and recover from terrorist events, as well as Y2K planning and exercises.

Mr. Charvat completed FEMA’s Professional Development Series in 1993 and is one of the country’s first Certified Emergency Managers (CEM). He served 4 years as Chairman of the Board of the international CEM Commission, representing local, military and private sector emergency managers. Elected to the board of the Disaster Recovery Institute International in 1999, he also presided as the Vice Chairman of the Board. He is a past member of the Washington State Emergency Managers Association and Editorial Board of the Journal of Emergency Management.

He is a Past President and 3-term Secretary of IAEM, the world’s largest professional association for local, business and military emergency managers, with nearly 3,000 members. Mr. Charvat is a past 2-term President of the Arizona Emergency Services Association. He is a past member of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners and the American Radio Relay League and is an active member of the National Fire Protection Association, the International Association of Emergency Managers – IAEM and is a founding member of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).  Additionally, Mr. Charvat is a graduate of both the UW and City of Phoenix Citizen’s Police Academies. He is a founding member of the Arizona Council on Earthquake Safety and holds an FCC amateur radio technicians license – call sign KD7CAA.

He has made national and international presentations/lectures to professional and citizen/civic groups on such topics as Disaster Preparedness, Intergovernmental Cooperation, Incident Management System in Local Disaster Programs, Multi-Agency Exercise Planning, and Emergency Operations Center Management, Homeland Security & Anthrax Response. Additionally as a guest of the US State Department and Federal Emergency Management Agency, he has addressed groups in Venezuela, Chile, Poland, Guam, Turkey, Czech Republic, Singapore, Canada and Japan.

Mr. Charvat earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Valparaiso University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Indiana University. He has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Crisis and Emergency Management from both the George Washington University in Washington, D.C and the University of Washington. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his husband and 3 pug dogs.