Each year, Homeland Security Today honors shining stars in the community who are making their own unique, invaluable contributions to advance the mission of keeping America safer from myriad threats. Mark Ray is driven by the credo that a public works department is a critical cog in the homeland security apparatus, working in tandem with police and fire on multi-incident preparedness, mitigation and response. “Mark Ray has been a decisive force in changing the relationship to one of close collaboration and coordination. He is a trusted leader among both the public works and emergency response communities,” Eric Waage, director of Hennepin County Emergency Management, said in his nomination. “Mark has brought these groups together to meet, train, plan and exercise. He championed a resource sharing mutual aid agreement across the metro area.”
Ray is a member of the Department of Homeland Security State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC) and serves as the chairman of the American Public Works Association’s Emergency Management Committee. He also serves as APWA’s representative to National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC).
“APWA members, including Mark, are also engaged with DHS a number of topics, including National Critical Functions, where they are looking for input from public works professionals,” wrote Douglas Hilderbrand of the National Weather Service in his nomination. “Furthermore, Mark has made a profound impact building relationships and fostering information-sharing between public works organizations and the National Weather Service. These stronger relationships and improved information sharing have increased national resilience to extreme weather, water, and climate events.”