The Biden-Harris administration announced the appointment of Marcus T. Coleman as the director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (DHS Center).
According to a news release, Coleman leads at the intersection of religious affairs, community capacity building, public-private partnerships, and crisis management to help people before, during, and after disasters.
His experience in the private sector includes serving as co-lead for the behavioral science and communications practice at HWC, Inc.
Before HWC, Coleman served as the interim director for the DHS Center from 2017-18 and special assistant from 2013 to 2016.
During his tenure, Coleman developed the DHS Center’s partnership strategy engaging more than 50,000 leaders from multiple sectors and developed partnerships between FEMA and organizations, including the NAACP and AARP.
He also co-developed the guide, ‘Engaging Faith-Based and Community Organizations: Considerations for Emergency Managers’; FEMA’s course on Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disasters, IS-909: ‘Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone’; and led a nationwide effort to increase the security for houses of worship.
On February 14, President Biden reestablished the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and federal agency centers.
In addition to their stated mission of outreach to stakeholders of all backgrounds and beliefs, the Centers executed the administration’s mission to boost economic recovery, combat systemic racism, increase opportunity and mobility for historically disadvantaged communities.
They also advance international development and global humanitarian work and strengthen pluralism, and respect constitutional guarantees.
“President Biden could not have appointed a better prepared and more capable leader than Marcus Coleman to direct the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships,” former DHS Center Director David L. Myers wrote in a release.
“The country and the president will be well served by Marcus’ years of experience at the Center, his expertise in emergency preparedness, and his robust network of trusted relationships with faith-based, civic, and government partners.”
Joe Briggs, the counsel for the National Football League Players Association, said that Coleman had been a special connection for the sports community to the work that’s needed on the ground.
“His work with disaster relief has allowed the work of the pro athletes I work with to be amplified and more directed to the needs they were intended to address. We congratulate him on this appointment and look forward to continuing our work together,” Briggs said.
A D.C. resident and proud alumni of Howard University and American University, Coleman remains an active member of the Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
Officials said he continues to lead various efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation to advance national security interests.
Coleman’s community contributions to emergency management and homeland security continue through his community leadership as an advisory board member of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management; a board member of the National Institute of Civic Discourse and Fair Chance D.C.; a senior advisor of the National Institute for Civic Discourse; and a member of the Truman National Security Project.
Coleman also serves with the National VOAD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and New America Foundation.
“We at The Potter’s House look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Marcus as he embarks on this new role that is critical to the safety and security of houses of worship as well as to our work in aiding and building communities,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor at The Potter’s House.