Lisa Dressler

Board Member

Lisa K. Dressler is the former Director of Emergency Management for the University of Minnesota system and for the City of Minneapolis. She has held positions with both Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).

She is a nationally known subject matter expert in the area of emergency management and preparedness. Accomplished, committed, highly skilled certified emergency management professional with over twenty-five years of valuable first-hand experience. Advanced knowledge of special event planning, managing Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), and planning/training/exercise development and implementation.

Her emergency management experience includes Director of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during emergencies and special events. Notable activations under Dressler’s leadership: 2014 MLB All-Star Game, Super Bowl LII (Practice Facility and NFL Honors Event hosted by UMN), Dinkytown Hockey Riots, Presidential candidates visits, Protests for NFL Games at UMN (Kansas City and Washington teams), Highly Visible Speakers, Protests and Civil Unrest after the death of George Floyd, COVID activation/PPE distribution system-wide, Election Security, Chauvin Trial Planning.

Dressler was part of FEMA RV logistics section following the 9-11 Terror Attack, Emergency Preparedness Deputy Director of Planning for the Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse, Emergency Operation Center Planning Chief during the 2008 Republican National Convention, assisted as part of mutual aid with the Hugo, MN Tornado, Planning Chief and EOC/Disaster Loan Operation Center Director for 2009 and 2011 Minneapolis Tornados, and Flood Recovery/Greenway Coordinator for the City of Grand Forks following the 1997 flood and fire.

Dressler attended North Dakota State University with degrees in Mass Communication and Political Science. She also completed the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs Public Safety Leadership program, New York University Stern School of Business Leadership Training for High Potentials and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Center of Public Leadership National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) program.

Prior to her career in Emergency Management, Dressler worked for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as the project coordinator for Operations Allies Welcome Minnesota. She provides leadership, strategic planning and business area planning across the MN Department of Human Services (DHS) for implementation of initial services and supports for high profile, high priority Afghan Evacuee arrivals placed in Minnesota through the Federal Operation Allies Welcome (OAW).

Dressler is an active professional and community member serving on the boards of Minnesota Crisis Intervention Team (MN CIT) and North Dakota State University Alumni Board of Directors (emeritus). She is also a member of the Minnesota Emergency Mangers (AMEM) Legislative and Education Committee, member of the MN Down Syndrome Association and a volunteer for GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center.

“I am honored to serve as a member of the MN CIT Board of Directors.  I was drawn to the work of the MN CIT through the educuational opportunities that create awareness to recognize and support our community members and loved ones in a mental health crisis, as well as the response tools and techniques provided to assist our public safety professionals and partners.”
Thank you.