--> Executive Office
Matthew R. Bettenhausen, Secretary
California Emergency Management Agency
Matthew R. Bettenhausen was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to lead California’s newest state agency, the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA). CalEMA combines the talents and capabilities of the previously separate Emergency Management and Homeland Security Offices in California into a single, streamlined cabinet-level agency.
Matt is also the Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served as the Director of the California Office of Homeland Security since March 2005. As the Director of the California Office of Homeland Security, Matt was responsible for the implementation of the state's strategy to prevent terrorism and the investment of federal and state homeland security funds to protect against, and prepare for, catastrophic emergencies.
Matt serves as the elected co-chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium and the vice-chair of the National Governors Association’s Homeland Security Advisors Council. He is also a board member of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security and serves on the external advisory board to Sandia National Laboratory. He currently is a member of the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute’s Task Force on radicalization and extremism.
Prior to his appointment in California, Matt served as the first Director of State and Territorial Coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There, Matt was responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Department as they relate to state, territorial and tribal governments and was the Department’s representative to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. While with DHS, he was a member of the Department’s Emergency Response Group and its Interagency Incident Management Team.
From January 2000 to January 2003, Matt served as the Deputy Governor of Illinois and its Homeland Security Director. As Deputy Governor, Matt was responsible for coordinating the law enforcement and public safety functions and agencies of the State of Illinois. The agencies reporting to him included, among others: the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois State Police, Department of Corrections, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Nuclear Safety and the Department of Military Affairs.
For over twelve years Matt was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice. He investigated and prosecuted all manner of federal offenses from drug cases to complex financial fraud matters and long-term undercover investigations. He also worked on a number of terrorism cases and civil rights investigations. For most of his prosecutorial career he held supervisory positions with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, including Chief of Appeals and Associate Chief of the entire Criminal Division. Matt graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Accountancy and continued his education at the University’s law school where he earned his J.D. degree with honors. He was recently privileged to receive the Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Association of the United States.
Matt’s family has a long and extensive history in the fire service and law enforcement. His father has spent more than 50 years in the fire service and currently is the Fire Marshal for Tinley Park, Illinois. His brother is an officer with the Lemont Fire Protection District.