Mark Shepard

Emergency Management Specialist

With more than twenty-six years of experience in incident and event management, Mark has extensive response experience at the local, regional, and national levels and vast experience using the Incident Command System (ICS). Prior to joining EMSI’s cadre, he served over 26 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, including tours as a member of the Coast Guard’s prestigous National Strike Force, the Gulf Strike Team, and the national level Coast Guard Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT).

A strong advocate for incident response, Mark served four tours of duty as a senior member of the prestigious National Strike Force: first serving as Executive Officer of the Gulf Strike Team from 2009 to 2012, second serving as the Operations Officer at the IMAT from 2013-2016, third as Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard IMAT 2016-2017, and lastly as the Commander of the National Strike Force and Commanding Officer of the National Strike Force Coordination Center from 2017-2020. The NSF consisted of six units including the NSF Coordination Center (NSF Headquarters), Coast Guard Incident Management Assist Team, Atlantic Strike Team, Gulf Strike Team, Pacific Strike Team, and a Public Information Assist Team. Mark was directly involved in preparing, training and equipping NSF responders to conduct emergency management, incident management, and highly technical oil spill, hazardous material, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive response operations. In addition, he provided highly trained, experienced, and adaptable incident managers, technical responders, and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and interagency leaders worldwide (EPA, CBP, BSEE, DHS, HHS, DOD) to assist them in preparing for and responding to all-hazard incidents and events including oil spills, hazardous material releases, salvage operations, natural disasters, migrant interdiction operations, drug interdiction, and providing security at national events.

Throughout his time with the Coast Guard, Mark gained extensive experience in a wide range of local, regional, national, and international level incidents and special events. Deploying to Fort Macon, NC, Mark responded to an explosive release that resulted in a two-mile evacuation, where he mitigated the release, cleared the evacuation order, and completed the offload of 35,000 pounds of explosives without further incident. Immediately following the explosive response, Mark deployed to Haiti to assist the Government of Haiti with Port Reopening and Humanitarian Relief after the 2010 earthquake. During the DEEPWATER HORIZON fire, sinking, and oil spill, he deployed to Houma, Houston, Robert, Mobile (x2), New Orleans (x2) in various Incident Commander and Operations Section Chief capacities to respond to the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill, where he served as Deputy Incident Commander, and then Coast Guard Incident Commander for Source Control in Houston. In addition, Mark has responded to major hurricanes, floods, chemical fires, oil spills, California wildfires, COVID-19, reunification of migrant families on the Southwest Border, and a $350 million cocaine seizure in Guatemala.

Since joining EMSI, Mark has worked closely with the oil and gas industry and government clients to prepare companies to respond to highly complex scenarios on a global basis. Indicative of his expertise, he holds ICS qualifications as a Type 1 Incident Commander and Type 1 Operations Section Chief in addition to numerous hazardous materials response certifications.