Jill Olen is the former Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Public Safety and Homeland Security for the City of San Diego, the eighth largest city in the nation. As the Mayor’s top public safety official, she was responsible for oversight of the City’s Police, Fire and Homeland Security Departments, Emergency Medical Services, and was also the Director of Homeland Security. Ms. Olen was instrumental in refocusing the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants back on San Diego after the area had been deemed “low risk.” The region was returned to the primary recipient list and received over $15M per year during Ms. Olen’s tenure.
Ms. Olen currently is the CEO of The Olen Group LLC, a consulting group of elite advisors in strategic planning, homeland security, and emergency management.
The Olen Group, LLC’s primary focus is on local, state, tribal and federal continuity, collaboration and integration in order to maximize efficiencies in planning, funding and overall coordination. Ms. Olen, working with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also provides analysis on regional interagency operational plans for potential new technologies that could be incorporated into regional national organizations to enhance first responder effectiveness during major incidents.
Prior to moving to San Diego Ms. Olen served in several top level emergency services planning, operations, and policy posts as a senior civilian at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities included coordination for emergency preparedness, military support, homeland defense, homeland security, and disaster relief for the Office of the Secretary of the Army, Pentagon. Ms. Olen gained hands-on experience on 9/11.
While leading the City of San Diego’s Homeland Security/Public Safety/Emergency Management operation, Ms. Olen was heavily focused on evacuation and shelter planning, creating a culture of preparedness and preparedness of underrepresented populations, and strengthening stakeholder relationships through multi-jurisdictional cooperation, collaboration and interoperability. She fostered the concept to address prevention, preparation, protection, response, recovery and mitigation efforts of the region as a collective unit, rather than as multiple individual entities.
During the October 2007 California wildfires, Ms. Olen became the on-scene commander for the Qualcomm Stadium mega-shelter which was established ad hoc within a matter of hours. Starting with FEMA basics, she improvised cutting edge programs to support the children, special needs individuals (including an on-site Skilled Nursing Facility), and the pets (as well as horses, goats, and rabbits) that accompanied the over 12,000 evacuees to Qualcomm Stadium.