Ms. Helen Lowman is Director of Individual and Community Preparedness (ICPD) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Lowman was appointed by President Obama as Director of Individual and Community Preparedness, National Preparedness Directorate in October 2015. In her role as Director of ICPD, she oversees programs that partner at all levels of government, the private sector, and community organizations to increase citizen and community preparedness and encourage the development of disaster resilience across the Nation.
Ms. Lowman is an innovative and experienced leader in international development and global recruitment. In her previous role as Associate Director, Ms. Lowman oversaw the largest department in the Peace Corps, with staff in eight US-based recruiting offices and Peace Corps Headquarters who were tasked with recruiting, assessing and placing between 3,000 and 5,000 volunteers in more than 60 countries annually. Within her first year in the role, Ms. Lowman led the agency’s reforms to streamline the Peace Corps application and the recruitment and placement process. Under her leadership, the Peace Corps surpassed previous records in numbers of applications, including a 5 percent increase in applicants who identify as racially or ethnically diverse.
Prior to her role as Associate Director, Ms. Lowman served for three years as Regional Director for the Europe, Mediterranean and Asia region where she oversaw Peace Corps programs in 21 countries. During her tenure, Ms. Lowman chaired the working group that initiated and implemented the placement of same-sex couples as Peace Corps volunteers. She also led a significant shift in the region’s footprint, including the graduation and strategic phase-out of four posts, and the assessment, establishment and launch of three additional posts.
In the course of her career, Ms. Lowman has served as Country Director and Associate Director of the Peace Corps program in China, acting Country Director in Mongolia, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. She has also held senior leadership positions at AFS Intercultural Programs/USA and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
Ms. Lowman completed her undergraduate studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies and Spanish, and obtained a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies