Skip Navigation

About MCSS

Executive Director

Kate Hession

ExDirPhoto

Experienced Emergency Expert Joins MCSS



BALTIMORE – Kate Hession, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), has been named Executive Director of the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS).

Ms. Hession comes to MCSS after nearly nine years at MEMA in various capacities. In one of her final duties at MEMA, she helped lead the implementation and operation of the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line, launched earlier this fall.

“There is no more important job than keeping our citizens safe – especially our children. Our administration has committed extensive resources, including statewide funding, the ‘Safe Schools Maryland’ tipline, and increased staffing for the Maryland Center for School Safety to help ensure that our students can learn in a positive, safe, and supportive environment,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Kate Hession is an experienced leader with a proven track record in emergency management, and I am confident that she will further the Center’s mission to strengthen school safety efforts across our state.”

“Kate brings a unique blend of emergency management experience to her new role at MCSS, and we are excited she’ll be joining us,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools and chair of the School Safety Subcabinet. “Students cannot learn without a safe learning environment, and the Maryland Center for School Safety has led the way in bringing new safety ideas and information sharing to schools throughout our State.”

The Maryland Center for School Safety was created in 2013 by HB 453, and is an independent unit within MSDE. Ms. Hession succeeds Edward Clarke, who is leaving MCSS after five years to become safety director of Montgomery County Public Schools.

Ms. Hession joined MEMA in 2010, first as Lead Exercise Administrator and more recently as Director of Operations before being named Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. At MEMA she has directed the budget and had responsibility for day-to-day administration of the agency.

In addition, Ms. Hession has overseen Maryland’s response to many special events and disasters, including several large-scale responses including the 2014 Star-Spangled Spectacular, the 2015 Baltimore City riots, and the 2016 and 2018 Ellicott City flooding events.

She is a graduate of Merrimack College, received her Certified Public Manager certificate through the University of Baltimore, and received her Master Exercise Practitioner certificate through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).