Lauren Stienstra

Program Director
Homeland Security & Public Safety Division

Lauren Stienstra serves as a program director for the NGA Center for Best Practices Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, where she manages a portfolio of projects centered on national security, violence prevention, energy assurance, public health preparedness, emergency response and disaster resilience. The Homeland Security, Emergency Management & Resilience Program supports governors and their staff in developing data-driven, evidence-based solutions to their states’ crisis challenges.

Stienstra manages the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC), an association of governors’ homeland security advisors (HSA) from every state, territory and the District of Columbia. Through the GHSAC, NGA supports HSA’s with best practice implementation, policy development, and strategic planning on issues related to critical infrastructure protection, catastrophic natural disaster management, school safety, and operational coordination. Her other projects are supported by partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as private sector partners. In her work, she also provides programmatic support for the Council of Governors.

Based on her expertise as a practitioner, Stienstra has given featured remarks at conferences hosted by the International Association of Emergency Managers, the Brookings Institution and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to her work at NGA, she remains an educator in the field and serves at the UCLA Extension as adjunct faculty and an advisory board member. Her work has earned her recognitions and awards from the Virginia Emergency Management Agency, the International Network of Women in Emergency Management, and the Arlington County Board. In 2018, she was selected as a finalist for the Route 50 Navigator Next Generation Awards, identifying her as “one to watch” for innovation in state and local government.

Prior to joining NGA, Stienstra worked as a local emergency manager for Arlington, VA, where she acquired frontline experiences managing severe weather incidents, hazardous materials spills, infectious disease outbreaks, and large special events, including presidential inaugurations. During this time, she also served as a visiting scholar at Virginia Tech, where she directed research and published on the topics of mass notification and public warning. Stienstra holds a master’s degree in systems engineering from George Washington University and has attended executive development programs at Harvard University. She holds the Certified Emergency Manager designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Although she has lived in many states, Stienstra claims California as home. For more information, please contact Stienstra at lstienstra@nga.org.