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Christopher Godley

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to Consider Permanent Appointment for Interim Emergency Manager

Dec 3, 2018

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After a nationwide search and extensive interview process, Sonoma County Administrative Officer Sheryl Bratton, will officially recommend the appointment of Christopher Godley as the next Emergency Management Director.

The recommendation will be presented and considered by the Board of Supervisors at the December 11th regular session board meeting.

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Godley will begin his permanent role as Emergency Management Director beginning December 24, 2018.

Mr. Godley has previously served as the interim manager since March 2018. Before this, Mr. Godley worked as a Director of Emergency Management for Tetra Tech, an engineering and consulting company.

“In the aftermath of the 2017 Northbay fires, the County of Sonoma looked to Mr. Godley, a demonstrated leader in disaster recovery and resiliency, to bring confidence and organizational improvements to our Emergency Management Division.He delivered repeatedly over this past year, and is the right person to lead our charge towards hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, and community resilience. Wildfire resilience must be matched with further efforts on flooding, drought, earthquakes, sea level rise/tsunamis, and Chris is the right person to lead that effort at the County level,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors James Gore. 

Mr. Godley previously worked as a senior advisor to the City of Santa Rosa after the October 2017 wildfires. He is a nationally respected certified emergency manager with extensive experience in the Bay Area, including previous leadership roles with Marin County, the City of San Jose and our very own Sonoma County. 

“Mr. Godley is a professional with 25 years of experience in emergency management, and we have been able to see his expertise in action since day one as an interim manager,” said Sonoma County Administrator Sheryl Bratton. “He has the vision and leadership skills needed to reshape and rebuild trust in our Emergency Services Division.” 

Mr. Godley, as part of his work as interim Emergency Manager, led and oversaw the development of the County’s After Action Report on the Emergency Operations Center during the October 2017 wildfires, and has presented several recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to improve the County’s emergency response. 

“I am honored at the possibility to be able to carry on with the improvement plans we have designed for the Emergency Services Division,” said Mr. Godley. “In a changing California, we must do our best effort to be prepared to respond to any emergency in benefit of our community.” 

Mr. Godley also served as the Director of Emergency Management for the City of San Jose from 2010-2013. Prior to that, he was the Manager of Emergency Services for Marin County from 2001-2010 and Sonoma County’s Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator from 1995-2001. 

He has also served in a variety of roles, including incident commander, emergency operations center (EOC) coordinator, section chief, liaison officer, and project manager, in response to 14 presidential, 18 state, and more than 25 local disasters. Major Godley is a 20-year veteran of the United States Army Reserve and California Army National Guard. 

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