David Maxwell, director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management as well as the state’s Homeland Security Adviser, has been named the new president of the National Emergency Management Association. 

Maxwell and his wife Lauren reside in Conway.

Maxwell was elected at the 35th annual NEMA conference held Oct. 9-13 in Columbus, Ohio. He will serve until next October and will host the national conference to be held in Little Rock in 2010. After his term as president, Maxwell will serve as an adviser to the next president.

NEMA is the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all 50 states as well as eight territories and the District of Columbia. The association provides national leadership and expertise in comprehensive emergency management.

"I am both excited and honored to begin this year as the president of NEMA," Maxwell said. "I look forward to working as a team, not only with my fellow members of NEMA, but also with the new federal administration, and certainly our partners at the local level. We will stress the importance of personal preparedness for all citizens, especially emphasizing neighbors helping neighbors as true first responders during a disaster or emergency, and my hope is to make great strides along those lines." 

Maxwell was appointed as ADEM Director on June 30, 2006 after serving as the agency’s deputy director from 2002-2006. Overall, he has 31 years of service with the agency.

As director, Maxwell chairs the Arkansas Homeland Security Executive Committee and serves on the Arkansas Terrorism Task Force, Arkansas Governor’s Earthquake Advisory Council, Arkansas Fire Protection Board, State Emergency Response Commission, Arkansas Wireless Information Network Executive Committee, Arkansas Tech Emergency Administration and Management Citizens Advisory Council and Pine Bluff Arsenal Citizen Advisory Commission. He also serves as vice chair on the Board of Directors of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium. 

In 1978, he began his career in emergency management working in temporary housing for the state after major flooding in Little Rock and was promoted to planning specialist in 1980. Later, he advanced to ADEM’s plans and operations division manager. In that capacity, he ensured the state emergency operations plan and local jurisdictional plans were maintained and in compliance with state and federal guidelines. Maxwell led the division in its mission of coordinating state response and recovery operations, collaborating with federal and local governments and volunteer agencies with disaster response or recovery responsibilities. Maxwell served as the designated state coordinating officer for seven federally declared disasters and one federally declared emergency. In the past 18 months alone under Maxwell’s watch, the state has seen a total of eight federally declared disasters.

Maxwell has a master’s degree in sociology from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia with a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University.