Governor Newsom Appoints Nancy Ward Cal OES Director 

A veteran emergency manager, Ward is the first woman to lead Cal OES

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the appointment of Nancy Ward as Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the first woman to hold the position. Ward has served in several positions at Cal OES since 2014 and brings decades of distinguished leadership in emergency management, including at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Nancy Ward is a seasoned emergency response veteran with decades of experience at the local, state and federal level. Under her leadership, California will remain ready to respond, no matter the crisis, keeping the safety of Californians at the forefront. I thank her for taking on this role and her dedication to serving the people of California.”

In September, former Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci announced his planned retirement at the end of the year.

“Nancy Ward is an outstanding choice to lead the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Nancy is an exceptional emergency manager and skillful leader who brings strong relationships and years of deep experience,” said former Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “I am beyond confident she will provide continued strong engagement with our public and private sector partners, and will ensure our state remains ready and prepared for any number of emergencies or disasters.”

Ward has been a Retired Annuitant at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2017, where she was Chief Deputy Director and Department of Homeland Security Advisor from 2014 to 2017. In 2009, she served as the FEMA Acting Administrator within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Ward was Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX from 2006 to 2014 and served as FEMA Response and Recovery Division Director from 2000 to 2006. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $232,858. Ward is registered without party preference.