Lauren Fernandez is an instructor in the Master's Degree Program at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Her research interests are Homeland Security, Emergency Management, Systems Engineering, Volunteer Management and Preparedness Assessment. She recently served as a branch chief in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity she led analysis of assessment data, managed national information technology systems, and developed technical assistance programs. Previously, Dr. Fernandez worked in the private sector as a systems analyst and emergency management planner. She also has over ten years of experience as an emergency medical technician and an incident commander for the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference. She holds a bachelor and master's degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and received her doctorate in engineering management with a concentration in crisis, emergency, and risk management from The George Washington University. Her dissertation research concerned volunteer management system design and analysis for disaster response and recovery.