Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Adam Thiel

Leader portrait photograph

In February, 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Adam K. Thiel to serve as a Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Immediately prior to his appointment, Adam was Fire Chief for the City of Alexandria, Virginia (2007–2014).

Over more than two decades as a front-line first responder, Deputy Secretary Thiel’s operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states (MD, NC, AZ, and VA) as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, fire and emergency services instructor, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland fire fighter, and rescue SCUBA diver. In 2002, Adam was appointed to lead the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) through a critical post-9/11 transition and state fiscal crisis.

In addition to public service, Deputy Secretary Thiel co-founded two successful consulting practices advising clients including: federal, state, and local agencies; institutions of higher education; non-profit organizations; and Fortune 500 firms in crisis management, leadership, training development, risk analysis, and business strategy. Adam has also taught graduate courses for several colleges and universities, presented at conferences and meetings around the globe, and is a published author.

Deputy Secretary Thiel earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University and completed his doctoral coursework in Public Administration at Arizona State University. Adam received his B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his B.S. in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College. Additionally, he has completed the Virginia Executive Institute, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leaders Program.