IAWF BOARD OF DIRECTORS (as of January 1, 2017)

Executive Committee

Tom Zimmerman, President (board member since 2012)
Retired Program Manager
Wildland Fire Management Research, Development, and Application Program, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service

Tom has worked at multiple federal land management agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and US Forest Service.  His permanent assignments include positions as Forester, Fire Control Officer, Fire Management Officer, State Fire Management Planning Specialist, Regional Fire Management Officer, Fire Technology Specialist, Fire Science and Ecological Applications Program Leader, Regional Director of Fire and Aviation Management, and Wildland Fire Management RD&A Program Manager. Tom has conducted training in the United States, China, Canada, and India, and presented papers, either in person or virtually, at conferences in the United States, Canada, Italy, South Africa, and Cyprus.

Wildland fire and emergency response constituted a major focus area and Tom has over 30 years of involvement in incident management team operations including service as an Incident Commander and Area Commander on wildland fire incidents and all hazard emergency responses across the country.


Alen SlijepcevicAlen Slijepcevic, Vice President (board member since 2014)
Deputy Chief Officer Capability and Infrastructure, Country Fire Authority, Australia

Alen is the Deputy Chief Officer Capability & Infrastructure with the Country Fire Authority. After gaining a Master of Science (Forestry) Degree, Alen started his working career in Croatia as a forester from where he emigated to New Zealand in 1995. He worked as a Fire Management Officer with the Forestry Corporation and a Technical Assistant - Fire Research Group with the NZ Forest Research Institute.  

After three years, Alen moved to Tasmania where he worked with Forestry Tasmania for seven years in a variety of roles, the last two as the Manager Fire Management Branch.

Since 2005, he has been working in Melbourne, Victoria. For the first seven years he worked with Department of Sustainability and Environment, the majority of time as the Assistant Chief Officer Capability. In 2012, Alen started working in his current role with CFA.

Alen has presented at the numerous national and international conferences.


Albert SimeoniAlbert Simeoni, Treasurer (board member since 2014)
Director of Wildland Fire Services, Jensen Hughes, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Albert Simeoni is the Director of Wildland Fire Services at Jensen Hughes and is based in Boston. Dr. Simeoni is an internationally recognized leader in wildland fires, building protection and fire science. He has over 15 years of experience developing experimental, analytical, and numerical techniques to better understand fire dynamics and to predict fire behavior. Dr. Simeoni was previously Professor and Director of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He was also Associate Professor in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the USA and Assistant Professor at the University of Corsica in France.

Dr. Simeoni also spent more than 10 years volunteering and working for the Fire Department of North-Corsica, France. He started his career at the Fire Department serving as a volunteer fire fighter, ultimately managing and leading all aspects of fire, wildland fire, and rescue operations in the capacity of Chief of Fire Station. He has also taught at the School of the Fire Department of North-Corsica and at the French National Firefighting Academy.

Dr. Simeoni has applied his practical experience as a fire fighter to years of research on the fundamental mechanisms of fires.  His contributions to the field of fire science, including his publications, have been recognized in the form of multiple awards. His major contributions to higher education include developing the curriculum on natural disasters and crisis management at the University of Corsica, and managing the International Master in Fire Safety Engineering program at Edinburgh, in collaboration with the universities of Ghent in Belgium (program leader) and Lund in Sweden.


Kathy Clay, Secretary (Board member since 2013)
Fire Marshal, Battalion Chief, Jackson Hole Fire, Wyoming, USA
Born and raised on a farm in mid-central Illinois, Kathy Clay traveled west to find her dreams under the magnificent Teton Mountains in Jackson, Wyoming. Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal for Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, she serves the fire world promoting fire and injury prevention, works with new and existing structures to insure code compliance, investigates structure and wildland fires, provides command on emergency incidents, and maintains EMT certification for medical first response. Clay holds a Fire Science degree, is a red carded Engine Boss, NFPA 1033 certified, and is Teton County's senior car seat technician.


Board Members

Tim BrownTimothy Brown (Board member since 2014)
Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada, USA

Dr. Tim Brown conducts applied research and applications development at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. His primary academic interests include analysis of wildland fire-climate and fire-weather connections; the fire environment; applications development for wildland fire management planning, decision-making and policy; the interface between science and decision-making; and co-production of knowledge. Dr. Brown is Director of the Western Regional Climate Center, and established and directs the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He is also graduate faculty in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.



David Bruce (board member since 2016)
Communications Manager, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Victoria, Australia

David Bruce is Communications Manager for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. Prior to that he held the same position at the Bushfire CRC in Australia.

David oversaw the development and implementation of the branding and communications in the start-up phase of the BNHCRC and leads a small team managing publications, online media, stakeholder relations, media relations and events. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Wildfire magazine, produced by the International Association of Wildland Fire, and is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

His working life began as a journalist and news editor with Melbourne’s daily broadsheet The Age and News Limited’s community newspapers, and later as the Communications and Media Manager at Monash and Deakin universities.


Murray Carter (board member since 2016)
Director Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM), Western Australia
Mr. Carter has held the position of Director OBRM for the past 18 months. OBRM is an independent Office responsible to the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, WA. The role of OBRM is to enhance the efficient and effective management of bushfire related risk in WA in order to protect people, assets and other things valuable to community. It’s functions include, among others, the regulation of prescribed burning and the application of a risk management framework to the use of planned fire.

Prior to the OBRM appointment, Mr. Carter was the Manager, Fire Management Services Branch (Chief Fire Officer) for the Department of Parks and Wildlife WA. During his time in this role he led the reform of the Departments prescribed fire program into alignment with the International Standard for Risk Management, AS/NZS ISO 31000; 2009 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines. Mr. Carter is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Director training and has twenty eight years of operational bushfire and emergency management experience with a strong focus on prescribed burning.
Mr. Carter is currently the Chairperson of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Rural and Land Management Group.     


Euan Ferguson (board member since 2016)
AFSM, Victoria, Australia

Euan Ferguson is a forester and fire emergency manager with 39 years experience in fire and fuels risk management, community engagement and emergency management leadership. In 2015 Euan retired after 5 years as Chief Officer with the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA). Previously, Euan held the role of Chief Officer and CEO of the South Australian Country Fire Service for 9 years. Prior to that, Euan held a range of field fire and forestry roles with CFA and with the public land management authority in Victoria. In the 1980’s, Euan was a member of the Army Reserve, was commissioned in 1985, and served with 91 Forestry Squadron. Euan has held a number of key appointments including past Chair and inaugural member of the Board of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC); past Chair and member of the Board of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC). Euan is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF). Euan is an advocate for firefighter safety through better decision making and promotes the philosophy of intent based leadership.


Paulo Fernandes (board member since 2013)
University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Dept. of Forest and Landscape, Vila Real, Portugal

Dr. Paulo Fernandes has a forest sciences background and holds a researcher and professor position at UTAD. He carries out R&D activities since 1992, with participation in 10 international and 21 national projects addressing the behaviour, ecology and management of wildland fire. His main contributions have been in the topics of fuel characterization and field-based assessment and modelling of fire characteristics and effects, namely in the frame of prescribed burning studies in Mediterranean shrubland and pine forests. More than 120 papers in the scientific and technical literature have resulted from this activity. Paulo is highly committed to technology transfer, which has materialized in the form of regular involvement in prescribed burning training and assistance to Portuguese government agencies and forest companies in fire risk assessment.


Michael Gollner (board member since 2016)
Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Dr. Michael Gollner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is broadly interested in fire science problems, utilizing experiments and theory to solve problems related to fire spread in the wildland and built environments, sustainable/green building fire safety and smoke and toxic product transport. In 2014 he started the first engineering-based wildland fire course at the University of Maryland, focusing on both the science and applications of engineering to wildland fire. He serves as Associate Editor of Fire Technology, on the editorial board of the Fire Safety Journal, a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Wildland and Rural Fire Protection, a member of the NFPA FPRF Research Advisory Board and an elected member of the management committee of the International Association for Fire Safety Science. 

Michael is from Southern California, where he was first acquainted with wildfires. He holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. summary of current research topics and other activities is available on his website: http://www.gollnerfire.com/


Naian LiuNaian Liu (board member since 2015)
Professor, Fire Safety Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Fire Science (SKLFS), University of Science and Technology of China

Prof. Naian Liu is a Professor in Fire Safety Engineering at State Key Laboratory of Fire Science (SKLFS), University of Science and Technology of China. He is currently serving as the Member of the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors; Member of International Scale Modeling Committee; Editorial Board Member of several international journals, including Fire Safety Journal (Associate Editor), Fire Technology, and Fire Science Reviews. He is working on fundamental researches of thermal decomposition of wildland fuels and extreme wildland fire behaviors such as fire whirl, multiple fires burning, eruptive fire and spot fire. In recent years, Prof. Liu has authored over 100 peer-reviewed research papers. He ever served as the Executive Organizing Committee Chair and Technical Program Chair of the 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (2012), and the Organizing Committee Chair of the Annual Meeting of the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors (2012), the Topic Chair of Forest Fire of the 11th International Symposium for Fire Safety Science (2014), and the Colloquium co-chair of the 35th International Symposium on Combustion (2014). He is also a member of the Combustion Institute and IAFSS.



Jerry McAdamsJerry McAdams (board member since 2014)
Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator, Boise Fire Department, Boise, Idaho, USA

Jerry McAdams is a Senior Captain and Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator for the Boise Fire Department in Boise, Idaho.  He has over fifteen (15) years of experience working in the fire service; in both Operations and Fire Prevention.  Jerry is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) and is also a member of the Boise District BLM Resource Advisory Council (RAC).  He is a fire investigator (FIT, CFEI & INVF).  He also holds International Code Council (ICC) certifications as a Fire Inspector I, II and Fire Plans Examiner.  Jerry has been a guest speaker/panelist for several webinars, as well as presenting at several national and international conferences.  He has also guest lectured on the topic of fire investigation for criminalistics classes at Boise State University.  Jerry holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Boise State University and has completed half of the coursework toward a master’s degree.  He has a passion for working with people to tackle the issues surrounding the dangers that wildfire poses, as well as organizing and managing mitigation projects to reduce wildfire risk to communities.

Guillermo ReinGuillermo Rein (board member since 2014)
Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London, UK

Dr. Guillermo Rein is Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Fire Technology, the scientific journal of NFPA and SFPE. His professional activities are centered on research in fire and combustion, and teaching of thermofluid sciences to engineers. He has studied a wide range of fire dynamics topics in the built and the natural environments, including pyrolysis, smouldering, fire modeling, wildfires, structures and fire, design methodologies and forecasting techniques.

He was born in Madrid (Spain) and studied Mechanical Engineering at ICAI Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Ingeniero Industrial, 1999). He also holds an MSc (2003) and PhD (2005) from the University of California at Berkeley. Guillermo joined Imperial in 2012 from a previous academic position at University of Edinburgh (2006-2012).

He maintains a blog, Fortune Favours the Bold (http://guillermo-rein.blogspot.co.uk), where he writes occasionally in a more informal tone on fire science and engineering.



Toddi A. Steelman, Ph.D. (board member since 2016)
Executive Director and Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Toddi Steelman's broad research agenda focuses on improving the governance of environmental and natural resources, emphasizing the role of the public and community in science, policy, and decision-making interactions.  She has a 15 year history working on the human dimensions of wildfire research and has conducted research on community aspects of wildfire management in Canada and the United states, including the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Her research agenda has focused on understanding community responses to wildfire and how communities and agencies interact for more effective wildfire management.  Steelman is also Co-director, with Dr. Branda Nowell, of the Fire Chasers project at North Carolina State University (www.firechasers.ncsu.edu), which focuses on advancing the science of adaptive capacity toward more disaster resilient communities. 


Michele Steinberg (board member since 2017)
Wildfire Division Manager, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Quincy, MA, USA

Michele Steinberg is the Wildfire Division Manager at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), leading a team dedicated to wildfire safety outreach. NFPA is a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. Ms. Steinberg has worked in the areas of natural hazards, land use planning, and disaster safety outreach for state and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years. She holds a BA in English and American Literature from Brandeis University and a Master of Urban Affairs from Boston University. 


Kat Thomson (board member since 2014)
Director, Operations Research, Uniformed Fire
Officers Association, IAFF Local 854, New York City, NY & Contract Air Attack Officer, Wildfire Management, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development


Dr. Gavriil Xanthopoulos (board member since 2017)
Researcher - Forest Fires, Hellenic Agricultural Organization "Demeter", Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems, Athens, Greece

Dr. Gavriil Xanthopoulos is an associate researcher specializing in forest fires at the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization "Demeter". He holds a B.Sc., degree in Forestry from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Forestry with specialization in Forest Fires from the University of Montana, U.S.A. He has been active in European forest fire research for more than 25 years, with a parallel involvement in many aspects of operational fire management, post-graduate teaching and forest fire management training. He has served as member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire (2005-2010) and as an associate editor for the “International Journal of Wildland Fire”. His research interests include forest fire policy, fire prevention, fire danger rating, fire behavior, fuel management, firefighting, post-fire rehabilitation, forest fires and climate change, and new technologies in fire management. His publications cover a broad spectrum and reflect his involvement with both research and operational applications.


Executive Director

Mikel Robinson
Executive Director
International Association of Wildland Fire
1418 Washburn
Missoula, Montana 59801
888-440-IAWF (4293) toll-free from US & Canada