February 05, 2020

State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker to retire after 42 years of service to Missouri

State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker will retire from SEMA on April 1, 2020, after 42 years of service to the citizens of Missouri, 41 of which were with the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Before joining SEMA as director in July 2014, Walker had served more than 35 years with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, rising to the rank of captain.

“Ron Walker represents the highest ideals of public service and has dedicated his career to making the citizens of Missouri safer and our communities more resilient,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said. “At SEMA, Ron has led the state’s response and recovery operations to major flooding and tornado disasters, built stronger relationships with our local, federal, faith-based and volunteer response partners, and innovated in the use of technology and how SEMA responds to and prepares for disasters.”  

This January, a state team led by SEMA won the state’s highest award for innovation, the Pinnacle Award in the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity competition. The award was for SEMA’s innovative situational awareness portal that allows emergency response agencies to track the status of critical infrastructure and key resources throughout Missouri in near real-time during disasters.

“At both SEMA and the Highway Patrol, Ron Walker has provided strong leadership as Missouri has faced emergencies and critical events for four decades,” Governor Mike Parson said. “He has been a model public servant throughout his career, and we greatly appreciate his dedication to building positive relationships, improving operations, and serving the people of Missouri over the past 42 years.” 

Walker retired as a captain and assistant commander of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Field Operations Bureau on Sept. 1, 2013. He was a member of the Patrol’s 47th Recruit Class, entering the Patrol Law Enforcement Academy on June 1, 1978. Walker also served as an officer with the Jefferson City Police Department from July 1977 to May 1978.

Walker graduated from Jefferson City High School in 1974. He and his wife, Wanda, have an adult daughter, Tiffany.

DPS Director Sandy Karsten has named SEMA Deputy Director James Remillard as SEMA acting director, as Walker utilizes accumulated leave. 


For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail