Phil Kirk is the Region 7 Director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Region 7 is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and serves the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. CISA is the Nation’s risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today’s digital and physical threats and collaborating to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.
Through leadership and management of field-based resources and capabilities, Regional Directors guide all of CISA’s numerous and varied programs. Mr. Kirk was selected as Regional Director of the Office of Infrastructure Protection in the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) of DHS in 2016, prior to the creation of CISA through the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Act of 2018. He then served as the Acting Director of CISA Region 7 for two years until his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in January 2021. He is the senior CISA official in the region and is accountable for the execution of programs to defend critical infrastructure against the threats of today, while coordinating and collaborating with partners across all levels of government and in the private sector to secure against evolving threats of tomorrow. He serves as the senior advisor and liaison between DHS and senior federal, state, local, and tribal governments and private sector officials on matters relating to the security and resiliency of nationally, regionally, and locally significant critical infrastructure. Mr. Kirk is also responsible for directing incident management activities as they relate to critical infrastructure restoration and resilience.
Previous to his tenure with CISA, Mr. Kirk spent over 20 years of his federal career in a diverse and progressive set of positions in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Region 7, most recently as the Federal Preparedness Coordinator and National Preparedness Division Director. In this position, Mr. Kirk served as a consultant and the principal advisor to the FEMA Regional Administrator regarding all preparedness matters. He led multiple programs and initiatives to strengthen, integrate, and operationalize the preparedness efforts of the region to build preparedness capabilities across all levels of government, jurisdictions, disciplines, critical infrastructure sectors, and citizen groups.
Before being named the first Federal Preparedness Coordinator in 2008, he served as the Chief of the Response Branch in the Response and Recovery Division. Prior to that assignment, Mr. Kirk was a Branch Chief in the Mitigation Division for five years. Mr. Kirk began his career in FEMA in 1994 as the Public Affairs and Congressional Liaison Officer.
In 1998, Mr. Kirk left FEMA and moved to Washington, DC, where he held the position of Intergovernmental Relations Manager for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a then new independent federal agency, with the mission of ensuring the safety of workers and the public by reducing the number and severity of industrial chemical accidents. After serving a year in this position, Mr. Kirk returned to FEMA.
Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Kirk was the District Director for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Kansas and was employed by the Congressman for nearly six years, starting in 1989.
Mr. Kirk holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. Mr. Kirk and his spouse, Shelly Kirk, reside in Oak Grove, Missouri.