Frances L. Edwards, MUP, PhD, CEM, is professor emeritus of political science at San José State University, following 17 years as the Director of the Master of Public Administration program. She is Deputy Director of the National Transportation Security Center at the Mineta Transportation Institute. A Certified Emergency Manager with over 20 years’ professional experience in California, she has served as acting assistant fire chief for the San José Fire Department, as Budget Analyst for the Irvine, California Police Department, and as Assistant to the City Manager in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Dr. Edwards’s most recent publication is Best Practices in Disaster Public Communications: Evacuation Alerting and Social Media with Liu, Hughes, Gao, Goodrich, Barner and Herrera, funded by the Knight Foundation and published by MTI. Her most recent peer reviewed journal article is “Police Budgeting: Using Overtime as a Management Tool” with Len Lira, in the Public Organization Review. She is editor of Housing Recovery After Disaster, co-author with Dan Goodrich of Introduction to Transportation Security, and with Friedrich Steinhausler of two books on terrorism response in the NATO Science Series. She has co-authored thirteen major publications for MTI, numerous chapters in professional books, and over 30 articles. In 2021 and 2023 she was guest editor for two Special Issues of Public Organization Review on the governmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple nations.
Dr. Edwards chairs the Communications Committee of the American Society for Public Administration’s Section on Emergency and Crisis Management. She won the 2022 Silver Award for her Knight Foundation research from the International Association of Emergency Managers. She has provided ICS/SEMS/NIMS and Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan writing, review, and training for Caltrans and the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). She has been a commissioner on the California Seismic Safety Commission. Her honors include Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year 2002, San José Magazine's Power 100, College of Social Sciences’ Austen D. Warburton Award of Merit for research, and the Devoted Service Award Class A from the San José Fire Department.
Dr. Edwards holds a Master's degree in international relations from Drew University, and a Master’s degree in urban planning and a PhD in Public Administration from New York University.