Sharon P. Dawson is a Senior Consultant with Contingency Management Consulting Group, LLC (CMCG). She has over 30 years of experience of experience providing government and private sector clients with crisis management response, planning, training and exercising services.
Ms. Dawson is an expert crisis, emergency and business continuity planner whose customers have included a variety of government agencies (e.g., Westchester and Onondaga Counties in New York; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and a variety of local Department of Homeland Security offices in a variety of locations) as well as supporting several diverse industries including petrochemical, hospitality, manufacturing, health care, pharmaceuticals and financial services. In addition to creating enterprise-wide, programmatic response programs designed to meet government and industry regulations (as well as best practices), she designs, develops, and facilitates Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant training exercises, workshops, seminars, and focus groups for clients to prepare them for emergency, disaster, and business continuity, continuity of operations response. Throughout her 30+ year career, she has participated in in hundreds of planning development projects and has designed numerous training sessions and complex exercises for all levels of multiple, diverse corporations.
Ms. Dawson possesses a highly successful record of managing complex contracts for customers with a global footprint. These include multi-million-dollar crisis, emergency management, and exercise programs for several worldwide organizations (Amoco Corporation, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, Hyatt, Sallie Mae, Entergy Corporation, the USMC, and others.
At CMCG, Ms. Dawson currently serves as the Project Manager for a five year emergency management exercise contract with Westchester County, NY, responsible for the full lifecycle planning of a number of Tabletop, Functional and Full Scale exercises to enhance county response personnel emergency response skills and capabilities. In the last two years, she spearheaded efforts to design and conduct municipal Tabletop exercises that focused on Active Shooter and Hurricane-based scenarios. These exercises included simulated video “newscasts” that Ms. Dawson developed in coordination with our professional video-production contractors. For this client, Ms. Dawson also led the development of a large HazMat functional exercise that included response by fire, police, EMS and specialty HazMat teams, and the development and conduct of a complex Family Assistance Center Functional Exercise. In both instances, Ms. Dawson coordinated the use of volunteer victim actors, providing detailed training and creating tailored scripts and backgrounds to add realism to the exercise participants. For Onondaga’s Office of Emergency Management, Ms. Dawson designed a Tabletop Exercise based on a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA). In addition to serving as the main designer of the exercises provided to these clients, Ms. Dawson is also the lead author of the exercise After Action Reports (AARs).
In addition to her project management roles, Ms. Dawson also supports planning efforts and serves as a member of the exercise conduct team(s) for a number of exercises that CMCG provides to large private universities, to include the George Washington University, University of Notre Dame, and Stanford University.
Ms. Dawson‘s career includes leading teams of 12+ business continuity professionals in support of diverse multi-year crisis and emergency management related projects, most notably the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Integrated Emergency Management Plan (IEMP)-Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Program for over 15 years. In this capacity, Ms. Dawson maintained fiscal responsibility of a $2.5 million annual budget, coordinated task assignments and ensured project deadlines were successfully met on time and within budget.
Additionally, for the CDC, Ms. Dawson served as a member of the planning team tasked to develop CDC’s Humanitarian Assistance Plans and accompanying Family Liaison Manual as well as the Agency’s International Humanitarian Assistance Program. She served as lead designer, planner and facilitator for a number of TTXs and FEs that focused on disaster response for high security/maximum containment biosafety laboratories, and research animal laboratories. She co-authored several After Action Reports (AARs) in the wake of numerous actual CDC emergencies (e.g., CDC handling of power outage at the Fort Collins facility, Haiti Earthquake, CDC employee fatality, CDC Program Director fatality while working abroad). Lastly, Ms. Dawson served on the CDC’s Emergency Operation Center Liaison Support Team during Hurricane Katrina, assisting with monitoring, tracking, and coordinating the rescue of several CDC scientists who became trapped in New Orleans.
In support of the U.S. Marine Corps Mission Assurance program, Ms. Dawson managed a team of 10 people, with fiscal responsibility for a $5 million dollar/5 year budget. She served as the primary liaison to the project officer, as well as the contracts representative.
Ms. Dawson is a FEMA-HSEEP Exercise Professional who holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management with emphasis on Crisis and Emergency Management from The George Washington University. She has also served as a member of the Alexandria Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team (DAT) located in Northern Virginia.