EMD Director Robert Ezelle

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Robert Ezelle serves as Director of the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division (EMD), which is responsible for leading and coordinating mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies on the people, property, environment and economy of Washington state. During his tenure, the state has successfully supported the response and  recovery from several major disasters including the SR 530 Oso Landslide, the record-setting wildfire seasons of 2014 and 2015 and a host of devasting weather events.

Ezelle joined the division in October 2010 as the Homeland Security Section Manager and in May 2011, the state’s E-911 program was added to his portfolio. He assumed his current position on April 1, 2013.

Prior to joining EMD, Ezelle served 17 years in the Washington Air National Guard in various senior leadership roles. His military career culminated in his assignment as vice commander of the Western Air Defense Sector, in which he supervised a diverse, multinational workforce conducting the crucial, no-fail, federal missions of air sovereignty, air security and air defense of the western United States. Previously, as the sector’s director of operations, he led its response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Prior to joining the Washington Air National Guard, Ezelle spent 13 years as a fighter pilot, instructor pilot, and operations officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Ezelle's strategic vision includes facilitating closer collaboration between the EMD team and stakeholders to better prepare for a catastrophic event such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, encouraging residents to be "2 Weeks Ready" and leading the nation by ensuring Washington residents have access to next generation emergency telephone (E-911) services.