“Eric lives and breathes emergency management and took King County’s program from the dinosaur age to the 21st century. He made our emergency management system the best in the U.S. His quality of work is unmatched by anyone. He’s as near to irreplaceable as one can get. The people of the county and the region are better prepared for a disaster because of the talents and boundless energy of Eric Holdeman.”
— Ron Sims, Former King County Executive
Eric’s Professional Highlights
- Has worked professionally at the Federal, State and Local levels of government
- Recognized for his work at building regional coalitions of people and organizations
- Nationally known expert and thought leader in the field of emergency management
- A prolific blogger, Senior Fellow and columnist for Emergency Management Magazine
Eric Holdeman is the Principal for Eric Holdeman and Associates. His areas of expertise include building regional coalitions between agencies, governments, the private sector and non-profits. Planning, Regional planning, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) design and construction, multi-media public education programs, Joint Information Center (JIC) formation and operations, media relations, social media, meeting facilitation and integration of technology into emergency management and homeland security programs are just a few of the areas in which he has extensive experience. In 2007 he was recognized by Government Technology Magazine as one of the Top 25 people in the nation who, “Challenge convention, confront entrenched bureaucracy and promote innovation.”
Eric currently works professionally in the areas of port security, emergency management and risk management. He has also authored numerous articles for professional journals and opinion pieces for local, regional and national newspapers. He is a writer for Emergency Management Magazine where he contributes feature articles and also has a regular column, “Eric’s Corner.” An experienced and accomplished public speaker he is sought after to present at national and regional conferences. Eric has a popular blog on emergency management and homeland security topics at www.disaster-zone.com
Eric has previously served as a Principal for ICF International, a Fairfax, Virginia based consulting firm. Prior to joining ICF he was a local emergency management director for King County Washington which is the metropolitan Seattle area. In this position he established the King County Office of Emergency Management as a national leader in many areas of emergency management and homeland security. In 2005 King County was given a national award by the National Association of Counties (NACo) for establishing a “Regional Approach to Homeland Security.” Additionally, the 9/11 Commission recognized the King County Regional Disaster Response Plan as a “Best Practice” for integrating the private business sector into community-wide disaster planning.
While leading the King County program the projects he facilitated included: regional homeland security, regional coordination and administration of numerous homeland security grants, including Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants, totaling over $34M; exercise design and participation in the national counter terrorism exercise (TOPOFF 2); regional disaster response, critical infrastructure and mitigation planning processes for King County; design, construction and occupation of a $30M Regional communications and emergency coordination center; and establishing multi-county mutual aid agreements. King County Washington is known as a national leader in pandemic flu preparedness.
Immediately prior to assuming his position in King County he worked for the Washington State Division of Emergency Management for five years. While with Washington State Eric served in a number of increasingly responsible supervisory positions in the areas of operations, training, public education, disaster exercises, and plans. Previously, Eric completed a 20-year career in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. While in the military, he served in a variety of demanding assignments in which he developed and managed operation centers and was responsible for contingency planning. He is a graduate of Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Education.
Eric is a member and Past President of the Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA). He is currently on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington’s Masters in Strategic Planning for Critical Infrastructures.
Eric is married to Mary (Brower) Holdeman. Their home is in Puyallup, Washington. Eric is also an avid gardener with his home garden being featured in several Sunset Magazine publications. To unwind, he and his wife take rides in their Honda S2000 sports car when he gets some spare time and it is not raining.