Kimberly Smith

Joining our EMSI cadre in 2018, Kim retired from the U.S. Coast Guard with over 21 years of service as a crisis communicator and instructor. In these capacities, she served as national spokesperson for organizational initiatives, policies, and operations. Most recently, she spent the last five years as the supervisor of the Coast Guard’s prestigious Public Information Assist Team (PIAT), where she led a deployable, specialized public information team to deliver 24/7 crisis media and public information emergency response to Coast Guard and EPA Federal On-scene Coordinators for oil, hazardous material, weapons of mass destruction incidents, and natural disasters.

Throughout her career, Kim specialized in communications strategy and planning, issues management, crisis media relations, and disaster response and risk communication. Serving as subject matter expert, she has led communication efforts during dozens of natural and man-made disasters, communicating health and safety information to affected stakeholders via community outreach, and traditional and digital media. Kim has served as a principal spokesperson at the national level, leveraging the National Response Team Joint Information Center Model, in markets such as New York City; Norfolk, VA; Atlantic City, NJ; and Washington DC. Within these roles, she conducted hundreds of television, radio, and print interviews. Additionally, she served as a spokesperson on numerous large scale, multi-agency incidents, to include the Texas City Y spill (over 168,000 gallon spill in Galveston Bay), the Los Angeles Magnesium Fire, hurricanes (Harvey), and threats to national security (9/11 attacks in NYC).

Continuously improving the public affairs field, Kim developed the first of its kind Coast Guard Public Information Officer job aid and a Public Information Plan template for emergency response community use. She also developed federal guidance for keeping media entities informed during the controversial and sensitive permit process to establish Liquefied Natural Gas terminals and port security initiatives in the Delaware Bay area. As a certified instructor, Kim has logged more than 1,000 hours delivering crisis management, media, and joint information center training to members of the U.S. national, state, and local response communities. In addition, she has delivered exercise evaluation, control, and design support for nearly 30 government agency and industry all-hazards exercises.

Indicative of her knowledge and skills, Kim is a professor for the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security program at Post University, where she presents courses on public affairs, and develops crisis and risk communication-related courseware supporting this program. Enhancing this program, she developed the EMH280 Crisis Communication and Social Media class to better enable her students to use the public information tools of today and the future.

Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Thomas Edison State University, with various communications concentrations to include public information strategy, higher education brand management, and social media best practices. She is currently working towards her Masters in Communications at Queens University of Charlotte. Kim is certified as an ICS Type 1 Public Information Officer.