IDHS Executive Team
- Executive Director - Stephen Cox
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb appointed Stephen Cox as the new Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security on January 6, 2020. Cox served as the Indiana State Fire Marshal in 2019, and prior to that, he was with the South Bend Fire Department for 26 years, with 12 years in executive leadership. With the South Bend Fire Department, he served as a paramedic, firefighter, EMS instructor, and EMS chief of the fire department, before being promoted to fire chief in 2012.
As fire chief, Cox created a fire training center which has enabled the department to build a robust training program to support the South Bend department as well as other departments in the state. He also collaborated with the Indiana National Guard to form a Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, an important asset for Indiana's disaster preparedness.
Cox served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University and has also earned numerous FEMA certifications related to the National Incident Management System.
- Chief Operations Officer - Jeff Groh
Jeff Groh brings a vast knowledge of law enforcement and leadership service to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Groh began his career in law enforcement by working for five years at sheriff’s department near his hometown of Chicago. He then served for 26 years at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served in various capacities to include his last assignment of Assistant Special Agent in Charge and oversaw criminal and civil investigators in the Louisville, Kentucky Field Division which included the Commonwealth of Kentucky, West Virginia and the eight counties in Indiana bordering Louisville, and included arson and explosives group, SWAT teams and canine teams. As a certified explosives expert, Groh traveled to five continents on behalf of the US Justice Department to assist U.S. and local military units in the area of improvised explosive devices. After retiring from ATF, Groh returned to law enforcement on the state level by working for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department as Colonel in Indiana for three years. Away from work, Groh enjoys hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. He also enjoys everything about Chevrolet Corvettes, especially the older classic cars.
- State Fire Marshal, Director of Fire & Building Safety - Joel Thacker
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb appointed Joel Thacker as the Indiana State Fire Marshal on March 4, 2020. Thacker began his career as a first responder in 1992 as an EMT and volunteer firefighter in central Indiana. Five years later, he became a career firefighter serving in Brownsburg and then Johnson County’s White River Township. Thacker served in Brownsburg as assistant chief before moving to Plainfield in 2015 to become division chief of fire prevention and administration. He was sworn in as Plainfield fire chief in 2017.
Thacker earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in criminal justice and public safety from IUPUI.
- State Building Commissioner - Craig Burgess
In 2017, Governor Eric J. Holcomb appointed Craig Burgess as the State Building Commissioner, part of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Before becoming the building commissioner, Burgess held positions as the Plan and Review Section Chief, which helped him become familiar with Indiana building codes and how they are applied. He is a registered architect, holds certifications from the International Code Council and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and is a LEED-accredited design professional. With more than 30 years of architectural experience, he strives every day to help make sure Indiana’s buildings, elevators, amusement rides, boilers and pressure vessels are safe for Hoosiers.
In his free time, Burgess can be found listening to and playing music. He can play around 30 songs on the banjo, guitar and piano. Outside of the rare and occasional jam sessions at Arthur’s Music, playing instruments is reserved for only him. He can also be found cycling, reading and occasionally woodworking. Burgess has created a few wooden decorative and storage pieces for his relatives, friends and personal home.
- Director of Emergency Medical Services - Dr. Michael Kaufmann
Dr. Michael Kaufmann began his career in medical services as an emergency medical technician. In 1997, he graduated with his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and started his endless pursuit to ensure the organizations he works with maintain and deliver a high quality standard of prehospital care. For his tireless dedication in serving others, the National Association of EMS Physicians granted him fellow status in 2017.
In 2018, Kaufmann was appointed the EMS Medical Director for the State of Indiana, part of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. During his spare time, Kaufmann is an avid Ironman triathlete and has finished more than 19 Ironman branded triathlons. Since 2014, Kaufmann also hosts a home light show that is open to the public. Kaufmann asks attendees to make a voluntary donation to Habitat for Humanity. Since starting the light show he has raised more than $10,000 for the charity.
- Director of Public Affairs - David Hosick
David Hosick serves as the Director of Public Affairs for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. An Illinois native turned Indiana resident, he spent nearly a decade working for the Evansville Courier & Press and covered everything from crime to courts, to government and the many bizarre oddities across southern Indiana. Highlights during that time include media flights with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as well as the Flying Fortress B-52. After moving to Indianapolis he worked at a local TV station before joining the public relations field. Since 2009, he has served in communication leadership roles for universities, financial corporations and now state government.
When not typing away at his desk, Hosick enjoys spending time with his wife Michelle and two kids, Rachel and Eli. Life consists of many long days at the softball or baseball fields or watching his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. Music is another main interest, but only as a fan. His favorite pastime is watching live music, and has totaled somewhere around 300 live concerts since high school—as many as his wife will allow.
- Director of Planning, Training, Exercise and Grants - John Brown
Director John Brown joined IDHS as the Deputy Director of the Department of Homeland Security Division of Planning, Assessment and Preparedness and Training. He currently serves as the Division Director of the Division of Planning, Training, Exercise, Search and Rescue, Community Engagement, and Grant Administration.
Director Brown has over 44 years in public service at the municipal and state levels. The majority of his career was serving as a sworn law enforcement officer and police operations administrator. He has also served as the Regional Director of Safety and Security for the St. Vincent Health and Ascension Healthcare system and Security Director for Ivy Tech Community College, Region 5. Director Brown earned his Master of Science degree in Public Management from Indiana University.
- Chief Information Officer - Narendra (Dev) Nimmagadda
Narendra "Dev" Nimmagadda serves as the Chief Information Officer for IDHS and is responsible for the technology platforms and data sets used by the employees and the general public. His team guides the strategic development and enhancements of the customer-facing interfaces between IDHS and the public safety community, including the Indiana Public Safety Portal and the Acadis statewide training resource. With a history of application development and data architecture, Dev brings a wealth of experience to the agency. His work background includes extensive experience in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, aviation, gaming, healthcare and now government. When not developing applications or fixing user issues, Dev enjoys traveling the world with his family.
- Chief Financial Officer - Adam Thiemann
Adam Thiemann serves as the chief financial officer for Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). He is responsible for all finance and administrative operations, which involves managing the agency’s more than $37 million budget to ensure it is spent in accordance with state and federal regulations. He also guides solutions to helping IDHS reach its goals and the goals of the state. A graduate of Indiana University, Thiemann has been a state government employee since 2011. He has held positions with the Indiana Department of Administration, Department of Corrections and the State Budget Agency. This experience helped him better understand the legislative process, budget development and day-to-day management of business office operations.
Thiemann and his wife, Lottie, have three young sons, reside in Morgan County and are ministry partners at Grace Church in Camby, Ind. He enjoys playing golf, camping and hiking, especially at the Indiana State Parks.
- Director of Emergency Management - Erin Rowe
Director of Emergency Management Erin Rowe oversees the Division of Response & Recovery and has dedicated her career to helping communities through emergency management. Rowe joined the Indiana Department of Homeland Security team in 2011 with extensive emergency management career knowledge. She previously held the titles of an Operations Section Chief and an Emergency Planner before spending some time as the executive director of Hamilton County Emergency Management. Rowe brought this knowledge of working with the community when she returned to the agency in 2017 as a division director. She works closely with agencies and community stakeholders to collectively prepare their jurisdictions to protect, prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from natural and technological emergencies.
- General Counsel - Jonathan Whitham
An Indiana native and Hoosier for life, Whitham began his public safety career in Bloomington, IN while attending Indiana University where he received a degree in telecommunications, business and political science. He was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Bloomington Township Fire Department before moving to Indianapolis. There he joined the White River Township Fire Department while attending law school, and earned his juris doctor from the Indiana University School of Law in 2009.
Whitham joined the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in 2014 as the General Counsel and Legislative Director after practicing law in the private sector for five years. He enjoys running, spending time with family and thinking of ways to make Indiana a better place to live, work and play. Oh, and deep dish pizza.