Walter E. “Ned” Wright

Lt Colonel (RET)  US Army (1973-1995)


Ned served in the US Army for 22 years, culminating in assignments as a Civil Affairs Operations Officer coordinating Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance Operations for the US Army both in theUSand in Central andSouth America.  While in the military, Ned also coordinated Military Assistance to Civil Authorities missions and served as an Operations Officer on the forward orTacticalOperationsCentersfor both the Commanding Generals of US Army-Alaska and Fourth US Army.  Ned coordinated support for 7 major disasters to include wildfires inAlaska, floods inIllinoisandMissouri, Hurricanes Andrew and Alberto (1994) inFloridaas well as refugee operations inCuba(1993/94),Panama, andSurinam(1994-95).











Linn County Emergency Management Director (Cedar Rapids, IA) 1995-2006

Following military retirement Ned served over 11 years as a county level Emergency Management Director. One of the most active County Directors in Iowa, Ned coordinated 5 Presidential declared disaster events in his community and facilitated FEMA programs such as PROJECT IMPACT, Citizen Corps, and Medical Reserve Corps. Additionally, Ned was responsible for the Linn County Radiological Emergency Plan for an event at the Duane Arnold Energy Center, Iowa’s only commercial nuclear power plant.  Ned participated in 5 FEMA evaluated Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) exercises and piloted revised REP evaluation program (2000) and offsite response to security events at nuclear power plants (2005).   Linn County always received exemplary remarks and no deficiencies were ever sighted by FEMA during Ned’s tenure.


Ned’s Multi Hazard Plan and programs received numerous awards and recognitions from FEMA, National Association of Counties (NACo),, Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), American City-County Magazine (Crown Community Award) and other organizations for successful “best practices” in Emergency Management especially in programs supporting Special Needs populations.  Ned developed and delivered programs for Emergency Planning, Mass Fatalities Incident Response, Foreign Animal Disease Incident Response, Emergency Support to Special Populations, and School Emergency Preparedness, and was actively involved in developing community plans for Pandemic Influenza and Hospital and Community Surge operations.


Other career highlights include: testified before a Congressional subcommittee on the effectiveness of local emergency management programs,

presented information at several national conferences at the request of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and The National Academy of Sciences on local emergency preparedness programs in offsite support of commercial nuclear power plants and shipment of spent nuclear fuels; and on other emergency management subjects.




FEMA- Team Leader-FIRST Federal Incident Response Support Team)-Atlanta (2006-2007)

Ned was the founding Team Leader for one of two Federal Incident Response Support Team or FIRST.  Building the FIRST-Atlanta from the ground up, Ned helped to plan and equip a state of the art quick deployment team with redundant and unique communications abilities. Designed to be a highly responsive and flexible Federal incident management team,  the FIRST operated within the Incident Command System (ICS) framework of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) under the National Response Plan (NRP).  The mission of the FIRST was to support State and local response by expediting the delivery of life-saving Federal assistance.  The FIRST would deploy rapidly during major disasters requiring response operations and support State and local responders by assisting in providing initial situation assessments for local, State and Federal officials, determining Federal support requirements, supporting Federal resource ordering through established State procedures, and integrating Federal assets into the State and local response.  They also assisted with communications back to local, State and federal emergency operations centers and authorities.   The FIRST had an Incident Command System (ICS) structure and each team has five permanent team members including a Team Leader, Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, and a Communications Unit Leader.   The FIRST team was a forerunner of  what is now the Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT).


Sr Emergency Planning Specialist- US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD  ( 2007-2011)


In 2007, Ned was recruited to join the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission where his expertise in local emergency planning was put to use reviewing license applications for new reactors.  Before taking a disability retirement in July 2011, Ned had completed the reviews necessary to send a recommendation forward to the Commission that the emergency plans were in order and that he recommended the Commission approve the license for the VC Summer plant.  Others on the NRC Staff were able to take Ned’s work and appear before the Commission. The Commission approved the application in the Spring of 2012.

In addition to his “daily duties”, Ned was part of the NRC Incident Response team.  He served as a Federal Liaison and was part of the NRC Response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011.  As an experienced and nationally credentialed emergency manager, Ned worked more than 60 hours per week in the NRC Operations Center from March 12 through May 18th, 2012.   Ned received a Special Act Award from the NRC for his work during the Fukushima response.


Other Information

  • Membership in International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) since 1994 and Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) since 1996
  • Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA) since 1995 and was an Iowa CEM (since 1998);
  • FEMA Professional Development Series and Advanced Professional Series Certificates;
  • Published over 30 articles on emergency management and military subjects;
  • Adjunct Faculty for the National Mass Fatalities Institute and AG-Terrorism Center at Kirkwood Community College and National Terrorism Preparedness Institute at St Petersburg Junior College.
  • Served as the Operations Officer for the Alaska Flight 261 crash, One Year Memorial Service activities in Ventura, CA (2001).





Civilian:  Virginia Military Institute, BA-History; Western Kentucky University, MPS-Public Service; Texas Tech University, MEd-Education Administration; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Certificate-Disaster Management.

Military:  US Air Force Air War College; US Army War College-Defense Strategy Course; National Defense University-National Security Management Course; US Air Force Command and Staff College; US Army Command and General Staff College;


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