Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, former Assistant to the General President for Technical Assistance and Information Resources (TAIR) and President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI), is the new United States Fire Administrator. Dr. Moore-Merrell was appointed by President Joe Biden at the urging of the IAFF. She also had widespread support from other fire service organizations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell swore Moore-Merrell in on October 25, 2021, at FEMA headquarters.
General President Edward Kelly, who attended the swearing in, says, “ Lori has spent her career using her education, training and skills to make our brothers and sisters safer on the job. The IAFF was pleased to support her candidacy and Lori is singularly qualified for this critical role. President Biden could not have made a better selection. It’s a proud day. ”
“Lori’s professionalism, dedication and knowledge will be great assets to the U.S. Fire Administration and its mission, just as they were to the IAFF,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma. “I am proud to call Lori a friend and congratulate her on her appointment. I look forward to working with her protecting fire fighters and EMS professionals in her new role.”
Moore-Merrell began her career in the fire service more than 30 years ago with the Memphis Fire Department as a member of Memphis Local 1784. She was then appointed as Assistant to the General President for Technical Assistance and Information Resources, a position she held for 26 years.
During her time at IAFF headquarters, she provided critical assistance to our members, including emergency response system evaluations, public safety resource deployment analysis, community risk assessment, data collection and analysis, and strategic planning.
In her role as CEO of IPSDI, she worked to ensure every local public safety agency demonstrated their response capability, reliability and operational performance through the study and implementation of local data.
As the nation’s newest Fire Administrator, Moore-Merrell is ready to get to work.
“As part of the Fire Administration’s mission to support and strengthen fire and emergency medical services to prepare for, prevent, mitigate and respond to all hazards, I will have several critical priorities,” she says. “I will work hard to modernize the USFA’s data collection capabilities and put a stronger focus on diversity, behavioral health and climate change.”
Dr. Moore-Merrell is the ninth person to serve as U.S. Fire Administrator.