Earlier this year, the NNSA Consolidated Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) was renamed to the Joseph “Joe” F. Stambaugh Emergency Operations Center to honor his exemplary service as Director. Stambaugh’s colleagues and staff surprised him with the unveiling of the renamed facility during his retirement ceremony in January.
Stambaugh was recognized for his leadership, commitment, and knowledge in multi-layered Emergency Operations, during which he oversaw operational, administrative, and communication functions, as well as his regular duties in leading the agency’s emergency programs and activities. Stambaugh was highly regarded for his ability to quickly assess complex information and convey vital information to leadership for situational awareness and decision-making.
“I’m humbled and honored to have the CEOC named after me,” Stambaugh said. “It was my privilege to serve the Nation, but I’ll miss my team the most.”
“Joe embodied leadership at the CEOC. Not everyone has the qualities needed to do that job right, but Joe did. “I’m glad his name is going on the CEOC. It’s a little reminder of a man who did his job well. We’re going to miss him.”
Before joining the CEOC, Stambaugh served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, finishing as a Senior Master Sergeant as the Chief of Operations for the Command Post. In 1997, three days after retiring from the Air Force, he began his second career with the CEOC.
While at the CEOC, Stambaugh earned his Bachelor of Science degree in applied studies, emergency services management with a minor in homeland defense policy from the University of Richmond. Later, he earned a Master’s in emergency management from the same school.
In 2012, Stambaugh was appointed as Director of the CEOC and strove to transform its effectiveness and reputation. He had an affinity for its Watch Office and worked to ensure the 24/7 emergency management needs of the Department were met and that every call was answered. He also initiated the FEMA Professional Development Series for Watch Officers. Many times, Joe could be seen working beside the Watch team and filling shifts when needed.
“Joe embodied leadership at the CEOC. Not everyone has the qualities needed to do that job right, but Joe did,” said Charles L. Hopkins, Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Emergency Operations. “I’m glad his name is going on the CEOC. It’s a little reminder of a man who did his job well. We’re going to miss him.”
Stambaugh leveraged his emergency communications, financial management, IT, and interpersonal skills to lead positive, transformative change of the Department’s Emergency Communication Network (ECN). He found solutions to address vulnerabilities and, for the first time, negotiated a cost-sharing arrangement for ongoing cyber-monitoring resulting in considerable cost savings to the program. He also established an innovative new path for the Mobile ECN system and implemented a next generation mobile network.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stambaugh again demonstrated his leadership and emergency management skills to enhance the Department’s response, ensuring the safety of the workforce and ability to continue its missions uninterrupted.