Management Team

Mary Ellen Carroll
Mary Ellen Carroll
Executive Director

Mary Ellen Carroll was appointed Executive Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) in August 2018 by Mayor London N. Breed.  Caroll oversees a department of 241 employees who are responsible for leading San Francisco in planning preparedness, communications, response and recovery for daily emergencies, large scale City wide events and major disasters.

Carroll brings almost 25 years of experience in local public service to the Department of Emergency Management. She has served for the past seven years as the Director of Emergency Planning and Security for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where she supervised all security and emergency management operations. She managed the response to the 2013 Rim Fire that resulted in almost $50 million in damage to City assets, and has led numerous incident command activations throughout her tenure.

Carroll has deployed in a mutual assistance role to regional disasters including several wildfires. She managed the City’s pilot policy on drone usage and she is an active member of the California Water/Wastewater Response Network.

She joined the City’s Department of Public Health in 2005, where she led planning and coordination efforts for San Francisco’s health systems. Carroll spent several years working in the Controller's Office developing business continuity plans for key City services. She also developed city-wide plans for state and federal cost recovery activities to ensure rapid recovery from disasters and reimbursement for disaster damages. 

Carroll holds a B.A. in International Studies from George Washington University and an Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Virginia Tech.

Rob Smuts

Robert Smuts
Deputy Director, Division of Emergency Communications

Robert Smuts is a Deputy Director for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, where he leads the Emergency Communications Division. Robert is an experienced administrator with a background in emergency management and public safety.

Smuts previously served as the City Administrator for New Haven, Connecticut from 2007 to 2013, he was the chief administrator for most operational departments and provided budget and personnel oversight. During his tenure he established the Department of Public Safety Communications which created a combined public safety answering point for all police, fire, and emergency medical services. As part of his duties, Smuts also served as the City of New Haven’s Director of Emergency Management. Prior to serving as City Administrator, Smuts was the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of New Haven.

Smuts holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Yale University. 

Headshot of Michael Dayton

Michael Dayton
Deputy Director, Division of Emergency Services

Michael Dayton is a Deputy Director for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, where he leads the Emergency Services Division.  Mike is an experienced emergency management and homeland security professional and public servant.

Dayton previously served in several executive positions during three gubernatorial administrations at the California Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Offices of Emergency Services and Homeland Security from 2003 to 2014.   From 2012 to 2013, he served as Acting Secretary for the California Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor. 

During his tenure, Mike was responsible for coordinating California’s overall preparedness efforts for both intentional and natural disasters and managing the day-to-day operations of the state’s emergency management department.  As part of his responsibilities, Dayton oversaw the management of homeland security, emergency preparedness, port and transit security, criminal justice and victim services grant programs.  He also served on the California Seismic Safety Commission and helped create the California Residential Mitigation Grant program in partnership with the California Earthquake Authority.

Dayton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. 


 Will Lee

William Lee
Deputy Director, Administration and Support

William Lee is a Deputy Director of the Department of Emergency Management, where he has overseen the Administration and Support personnel since 2002. The administrative staff are responsible for performing department-wide functions, such as budgeting, accounting, grant administration, purchasing, human resources, recruitment, payroll, IT support, and facility management.

Since 1997, Lee has served as the Chief Finance Officer for several City and County of San Francisco Departments, including the Solid Waste Management Program, the Department of Human Resources, and the Department of Emergency Management. In addition, Lee was part of the 9-1-1 Project Team, which implemented and established the current 9-1-1 Communications System, the 800 MHz Radio Network System, and the Combined Emergency Communications Center.

Lee holds a BS in Environmental Economics from U.C. Berkeley. He is a native San Franciscan and graduate of Lowell High School.