Lifecycle Leadership: Hill Welcomes Peter T. Gaynor, Vice President, Resiliency and Disaster Recovery

“I chose to come to Hill because of the firm’s commitment to its recovery practice,” says Peter (Pete) T. Gaynor, CEM, Hill’s new Vice President, Resiliency and Disaster Recovery (RDR). “This team understands the entire recovery process, from designing the right recovery program through execution during construction and driving progress from start to finish.”

Peter Gaynor

Pete comes to Hill with more than 15 years of experience leading major emergency management and disaster recovery efforts. A former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Pete helped steer recovery efforts across the U.S. during COVID-19, multiple hurricanes, and several wildfires. His recovery experience dates from his service in the United States Marine Corps where he directed around-the-clock operations supporting the Marines’ global crisis response after the 9/11 attacks. Most recently, Pete was elected Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coalition of America.

At Hill, Pete is emphasizing a holistic approach to recovery. “I’ve seen first-hand that response is only the first step on a long road,” he explains. “Ultimately, elected leaders and the agencies and institutions they oversee will be judged on their full recovery efforts. Did they return their community to normalcy as quickly and cost-effectively as possible? Did they increase the resiliency of their infrastructure, both social and physical? We can help make sure the answers to those questions are always a ‘yes.’”

Pete cites Hill’s expertise in overall recovery program management as a key to the RDR team’s support. Program management, according to the Project Management Institution (PMI) is “the centralized coordination and management of a set of related projects to achieve strategic objectives and benefits. It involves overseeing interdependencies, optimizing resource utilization, and ensuring alignment with organizational goals.”

Program management offers a toolbox of management techniques and technologies to track progress, identify and manage risks, and track compliance with funding sources across the entire recovery program life cycle, Pete notes. “Using the right program management approach will get your recovery off to the right start and then maintain that momentum throughout the entire process,” he says. “It saves time and money, keeps buy-in high from stakeholders, and enables data-driven decision making.”

To implement, execute, and lead Hill’s RDR efforts, Pete will apply his skills in creating a unified recovery vision, setting strategy, building momentum, and enriching cultures in the necessarily complex structure of recovery organizations. He will focus on leading development, coordination, and implementation of enterprise strategy to improve programs, policies, deliverables, and apply proven best practices for optimal organizational effectiveness.

Andy Robinson“The recovery life cycle always follows a familiar path,” says Gaynor. “As disasters increase in both frequency and intensity around the world, we’ve gotten much better at mounting a robust response in the immediate aftermath. Now we need to realize similar improvements and efficiencies in how we rebuild and revitalize following that initial response phase.

“Hill’s RDR team is somewhat unique in this space: we’re a company focused solely on realizing major construction programs as planned. That means added confidence and tailored recommendations for our clients, and, ultimately, better recovery outcomes for everyone.”

Hill Vice President Andy Robinson, who leads the RDR practice, said of the new hire: “Pete’s understanding of and experience with disasters of unprecedented scale and scope will enable our entire team to better guide our clients through their recoveries. We’re lucky to have him at Hill, and I know our clients will feel the same.”

Pete Gaynor is a former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as a Vice President at Hill International. Pete is also the Chair of the Disaster Recovery Coalition of America (DRCA). Contact Pete at 401-932-4221or [email protected].

Andy Robinson is a leader in disaster recovery with more than 25 years of experience in strategic consulting, leadership, program management, and solutions development with a strong record of success. He is the Senior Advisor and Vice President of Resiliency and Disaster Recovery Practice at Hill International, Inc. Contact Andy at 703-967-7613 or [email protected].