Last week, UCF Associate Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police Carl Metzger ’03MS appointed Joe Thalheimer ’08 as the director of Emergency Management.

The announcement comes after an exhaustive search. Metzger is confident in Thalheimer, who has led the department in an interim role since July 2019.

“Joe has done an incredible job since stepping into the role of interim director,” says Metzger. “Since then, he’s been handling his old job duties, along with leading the Emergency Management team during Hurricane Dorian, the coronavirus pandemic and preparing for the 2020 hurricane season. I’m extremely impressed by what he’s accomplished so far and can’t wait to see what ideas he has for the future.”

Thalheimer, who graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, has been a part of UCF’s Emergency Management team since 2014, where he was hired as the first warning and communication coordinator. He was later promoted to the manager of Operations and Technology before assuming the role of interim director of Emergency Management.

He was a founding staff member and senior operations coordinator at UCF’s College of Medicine prior to joining the Emergency Management team.

From 2005 to 2012, he also served as the assistant security supervisor for the Orange County Convention Center, where he was responsible for physical security, transportation planning and emergency preparedness. While in this role, he represented the convention center at the Orange County Emergency Operations Center, which is where his love of Emergency Management started.

“I’m very excited and honored to be chosen for this role,” says Thalheimer. “Working at UCF has been enjoyable, thanks in large part to the people I work with. They make what can be a very stressful job fun, and there’s no where else I’d rather be.”

Thalheimer is the first in his family to graduate from college, and his oldest daughter is a second-generation Knight. When he’s not in the Emergency Operations Center, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids in their RV, watching any UCF sport, and cheering on the New York Mets.