Kelly Hubbard, Santa Barbara County OEM director


A former emergency manager for an Orange County water district has been named the new director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

Kelly Hubbard was chosen “following a competitive recruitment of candidates from across the country” and will assume her new duties Monday, according to a release from the county.

She succeeds Rob Lewin, who left in May after leading the County Office of Emergency Management for three years following a long career with Cal Fire.

Hubbard has extensive experience in emergency planning, assessing facility vulnerabilities, disaster finance, coordination with nonprofit organizations, public-private partnerships and crisis management, the county said.

Most recently, she served as emergency manager at the Municipal Water District of Orange County, a Metropolitan Water District member agency, for the past 15 years.

“Kelly will bring a highly collaborative approach and perspective to our committed and talented Office of Emergency Management team,” said Matt Pontes, assistant county executive officer and interim director of emergency management. “She will lead efforts to ensure our communities are prepared for future emergencies and challenges.”

While at the Municipal Water District, Hubbard served as emergency services manager for the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County to manage emergency preparedness, planning, response and recovery efforts among 37 water and wastewater utilities, managing an annual budget of $650,000.

She also served as an Emergency Operations Center manager, public information officer, local assistance center manager and evacuation center manager for 15 presidentially declared disasters through mutual aid agreements with other agencies across the country, the county said.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.