The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Speaker | Lori Williams

Lori Williams
Operations Office, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Lori Williams has been working with communities and volunteers during disasters for more than ten years. In her role at the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Williams supports and engages with voluntary organizations active in disasters across the state of Iowa before, during, and after disasters occur. As an Operations Officer, Williams fulfills the role of “State Voluntary Agency Liaison” and serves as a central coordination point between local, state, and federal governments and voluntary, faith-based, and community organizations responding in times of disaster – including support for long term recovery groups, mass care, reunification and family assistance, unmet needs, and additional areas addressing vulnerable populations.  


Prior to this, Williams oversaw the disaster services and outreach programs at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque and coordinated the disaster volunteer programs with Central Iowa Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.  As Quality Assurance Director and Program Director at Catholic Charities, Williams provided leadership and development for community outreach programs that focused on reducing poverty, strengthening families, and empowering communities.


With a focus on building community resiliency, Williams is an active member of the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council, fulfilling committee roles over the years in Disaster Case Advocacy, Volunteer & Donations Management, Unmet Needs, and COAD Relations. Williams has a Masters in Public Affairs with a Concentration in Disaster and Emergency Management.  

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