Title and Organization:
Adam K. Thiel became the 20th commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department in May 2016, and is responsible for leading its 3,000+ members in every facet of protecting the city from fires and emergencies arising from all hazards. Thiel also served as Director of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management from 2019-2022.
He has over 30 years of government, private sector, and non-profit experience spanning five states. Before coming to Philadelphia, he held posts including Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Chief of the Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia.
Thiel is currently in the organizational dynamics program at the University of Pennsylvania, earned a master’s degree in cities from the London School of Economics, a master’s in public administration from George Mason University, and has completed doctoral coursework in both public administration and public policy. He is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow, an Eisenhower USA Fellow, and a Leadership Philadelphia Fellow.
In addition to public service, Adam has co-founded two successful consulting practices advising a wide range of clients on crisis leadership, risk management, organizational development, data science, and strategy. He is a widely published author, a keynote speaker at events around the globe, and teaches graduate-level courses at Georgetown and George Mason University.
Adam chairs the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) Advisory Board, is a former chair of the National Fire Academy Board of Visitors, a former Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM), and currently serves on multiple non-profit boards and committees. He has appeared many times on local newscasts, along with interviews on: CNN’s The Situation Room, PBS Newshour, the BBC, and NBC Nightly News.