Suzanne Frew is an Emergency Management Consultant focusing on Inclusion, Equity, Accessibility and Cultural Competency for Highly Diverse Communities at Risk

Suzanne Frew – Inclusive Emergency Management Consultant

Founder – President – Principal Consultant – Lead Facilitator

Suzanne Frew is an Emergency Management Consultant Focusing on Inclusion, Equity, Accessibility and Cultural Competency for Highly Diverse Communities at Risk

Suzanne has been helping governments, businesses, and community organizations manage risk, build institutional capacity and improve communications for over three decades. 

She has extensive expertise working with leaders of culturally diverse communities at risk to build cultural competency and inclusive policies, procedures, and practices grounded in inclusion, equity, and accessibility.

She has spent almost three decades working across different countries, states and jurisdictions, island territories, and tribal nations, helping people from hundreds of unique cultures from across the globe.

She specializes in applying innovative approaches to design thinking, serious gaming, storytelling, and cross-cultural communications to resilience and recovery planning, training and exercises, and communications outreach and engagement.

Suzanne has worked in one way or another on the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery related to virtually every type of natural and manmade hazard and disaster, from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and fires, to terrorism, school shootings, and infectious disease. 

Her life’s work is about seeing blind spots in helping others reach the unreachable, serving those who are high-risk and in the most need, being a cultural broker between groups who don’t understand each other, and building a partnership table-crafted to create long-lasting collaboration.

Suzanne Frew leads The Frew Group, a certified Woman-Owned Small Business and Woman Business Enterprise based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Suzanne is an adjunct instructor for social media in emergency management, leadership, and community resilience for the University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC).
Ms. Frew is also a contributing author to four disaster resilience books and has written numerous professional articles – many are available in our Resource Library  and Suzanne Frew on

Suzanne is an international speaker, a keynote, and a prior FEMA IX PIO and Mitigation Marketing, Education, and Partnership Development Coordinator. She works throughout the U.S., Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean, and Canada. 

She is a member of the IAEM Diversity Committee, IAEM Technology Caucus, and a founding member of the Gender and Disaster Network. She holds an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA in Interdisciplinary Public Relations/International Social Welfare.

Learn more about Suzanne’s background story and mission 

What people say about Suzanne:

"Suzanne is a longtime leader in innovative communications strategy and inclusive community engagement. She’s been a catalyst for instilling a vision for equity in the national drive for community risk resilience. From serving as an original pioneer with FEMA’s launch of the first national community resilience program (Project Impact) to developing federal courses to link economic and social resilience, Suzanne’s understanding of the needs of diverse populations breaks through traditional viewpoints with a fresh and pragmatic approach that works. Her contributions as an instructor, a facilitator, and an author get to the heart of why inclusion and diversity are so vital to the future of risk-reliance work."
Michele Steinberg
Wildfire Division Director, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
"Suzanne Frew effectively and efficiently assisted the Bay Area UASI to build cultural competency principles within our training program to ensure inclusive practices that address the critical issues and needs of the region’s rapidly changing demographics and diverse populations."
Trusted Emergency Management Partner for the National Urban Area Security Initiative - The Frew Group
Craig Dziedzic
Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)
"Suzanne is a master at creating community engagement that successfully brings together hard-to-reach groups. She brought integrity, professionalism and passion to our project that tackled sensitive issues of land use, climate change, and environmental vulnerabilities. Suzanne designed and spearheaded a multi-pronged outreach program across the islands of Maui County, using both traditional and non-traditional methods, and included innovative community workshops that deeply respected local Hawaiian culture and traditions and used a serious game to conduct research and build collaboration."
County of Maui Logo - The Frew Group Workshop Review
Jim Buika
Maui County Planning Department
"Over the last twenty years countless consultants pushing planning and preparedness for “people with special needs” and “vulnerable populations” have come and gone. Suzanne remains one of the few who really understands, values, and successfully integrates cultural competency and cross-cultural communication in the planning, response and recovery processes. She brings a unique set of skills to a very difficult conversation and a lasting commitment to vulnerable communities."
Ana-Marie Jones - Review of The Frew Group Workshop
Ana-Marie Jones
Keynote Speaker