In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that as part of his efforts to bolster Chicago’s public safety operations, he is appointing Alicia Tate-Nadeau to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), replacing Gary Schenkel who informed the Mayor of his decision to leave the post he has held since 2011.
Tate-Nadeau brings to OEMC more than three decades of experience in national security, emergency management, and public safety issues. She is the Assistant Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and concurrently the Deputy Commanding General, Army National Guard, United States Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In 2015, Tate-Nadeau made history by becoming the first female in Illinois’ history to be promoted to the position of General. Currently, Tate-Nadeau serves as the lead on FEMA’s regional team that is assisting in the federal response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“Alicia Tate-Nadeau has spent her career looking out for others’ safety – whether as a solider on the battlefield or as a public servant in government. She knows what it takes to coordinate policies, programs, and planning to keep people safe and to keep cities and communities operating smoothly. She has the experience and expertise that we need in this critical role,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I want to thank Gary Schenkel on behalf of Chicago for his strong leadership and tireless service to keep our city functioning and secure. We are a safer city because of his efforts.”
Prior to this appointment, and as part of her work with the Illinois National Guard, Tate-Nadeau served in Israel from 2011 to 2014, where she planned, coordinated, and conducted emergency management exercises with international partners. While in Israel, she helped oversee the first-ever exercise between the United States, Israel, and Germany regarding Search and Rescue operations in urban areas.
Tate-Nadeau also served in Iraq, where she was stationed from 2005-2006. While in Iraq, Tate-Nadeau advised and assessed military operations, and also worked with the Iraqi population to promote civic engagement with the local and national government. In recognition of her work in Iraq, Tate-Nadeau was awarded the Bronze Star – one of the highest decorations awarded to members of the United States military.
Tate-Nadeau also played a pivotal role serving in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Domestic Preparedness Division of the Army Reserve Command, helping states prepare for domestic and international threats.
As the Executive Director of OEMC, Tate-Nadeau will bring these experiences and more in overseeing the department’s mission to coordinate the City’s public safety efforts and ensure the security of every resident. From helping keep our streets plowed and passable in the winter to managing the city’s 911 call center and protecting people and property during large-scale events, OEMC manages Chicago’s public safety efforts swiftly and seamlessly.
“Having worked with Alicia Tate-Nadeau at the State of Illinois and at FEMA, she brings a demonstrated effectiveness in coordinating and stabilizing the response and recovery of emergency events at the Federal and state levels,” said former OEMC Executive Director and current FEMA Region V Administrator, Andrew Velasquez III. “Alicia excels in her administration and operation of emergency management. She brings a collaborative approach to her work with key stakeholders and even with international partners.”
Tate-Nadeau will replace Schenkel, who has served as Executive Director since the beginning of the Emanuel Administration. Under Executive Director Schenkel’s leadership, OEMC has implemented a number of important public safety measures, including: consolidation of the city’s camera network into a federated system which has helped the City better organize its response to both planned and unplanned emergencies, and significantly enhancing and upgrading the city’s 911 system for the first time since it was centrally located at OEMC in 1995. Executive Director Schenkel has also overseen OEMC’s successful handling of thousands of large-scale, city-wide events, such as the 2012 NATO Summit, parades for the Chicago Blackhawks, the NFL Draft and more.
Tate-Nadeau’s appointment comes days after Mayor Emanuel announced the addition of Interim Superintendent Eddie Johnson to his public safety team. These strong, innovative and experienced leaders will work together on their collective mission: to serve and protect the people of Chicago.