Michelle Woods

Program Director, Homeland Security

Michelle Woods serves as the program director for homeland security in the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices, where she manages the homeland security policy issue area, including state and local emergency management and resilience; homeland security policy issues as it relates to preventing targeted violence, public health preparedness, information and intelligence sharing, critical infrastructure protection, and utilization of the National Guard; and state/federal funding mechanisms and practices, including grant programs.

Michelle brings more than a decade of oversight and management experience across a range of homeland and national security policy issues, including domestic and counterterrorism, emerging threats, emergency response and preparedness, and pandemic preparedness and response to NGA. Most recently, Michelle served as the Director for Homeland Security for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. During her tenure with the Committee, Michelle has been responsible for leading major homeland security policy initiatives, including the DHS re-authorization, establishment of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and authorization of the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to counter malicious drones.

Prior to joining the Committee staff, Michelle worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she conducted and managed numerous program evaluations and investigations of the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State and the Intelligence Community. She also has experience at the state level from her time as the special assistant to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where she was the director of civics literacy and voter education initiatives. She earned a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Communications from Western Kentucky University, where she graduated with honors, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky.

Michelle originally hails from Kentucky.