Dr. Shruti Dhapodkar is a community-focused emergency management leader with a diverse background spanning burn medicine, information technology, emergency management, and public health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular cellular biology from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in Homeland Security from the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the American University of Antigua. Additionally, Dr. Dhapodkar completed the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s (CHDS) Executive Leaders Program. 

Prior to her appointment as Director of Emergency Management for the County of San Mateo, Dr. Dhapodkar led the county’s Emergency Medical Services disaster planning efforts. Before joining the county, she led a thriving burns and wound care practice in Chicago. Along with her county leadership role, she serves in key leadership roles, including Co-Chair for the Bay Area Biological Threat Detection Program, California Conference of Local Health Officers Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee Co-chair, Association of Bay Area Health Officers Liaison, and Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) Terrorism Liaison Officer for San Mateo County Health. 

In her current role, Dr. Dhapodkar leads San Mateo County’s Department of Emergency Management, where she oversees development and execution of emergency planning, training, and exercising for the county’s emergency organization. She has spearheaded response operations for a wide range of events, including wildfires, biological incidents, chemical incidents, active attacker events, and radiological incidents. Notably, her recent responses include the COVID-19 Pandemic, CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, Severe Weather Events, and Public Safety Power Shutoffs. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, she implemented ethical resource allocation, operationalized an Alternate Care Site, and established an outreach team to serve vulnerable populations. In response to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, she initiated planning protocols for a rapid response to identify vulnerable people. 

Dr, Dhapodkar is a staunch advocate for the right to healthcare, particularly for the most vulnerable populations during times of disasters. Her commitment is exemplified by her role as the Operations Section Chief and EOC Commissioner for the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games, where she ensured fair access to high-quality healthcare and emergency response for all individuals. She played a pivotal role in developing all-hazards emergency operations plans for the Games Opening Ceremony and daily athletic operations, coordinating interactions between Disney World, local law enforcement, local emergency medical services, and Special Olympics executives. 

The practices and methodology employed by Dr. Dhapodkar’s teams have been shared at leading industry conferences, including the National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Summit, National Association of County and City Health Officials Preparedness Summit, and California Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office Preparedness and Training Workshop. As a board member of California Women in Homeland Security, she is dedicated to empowering young professionals through mentorship and fostering an inclusive atmosphere that builds capacity for growth. 

Recent Awards: 

  • Regional Collaboration Award, 2018, 2019, 2023 
  • Center for Homeland Defense and Security Mark Carr Esprit de Corps Award, Naval Postgraduate School, 2023 
  • San Mateo County Wellness Award, 2020, 2021, 2022 
  • ABAHO COVID-19 Response, 2022 
  • San Mateo County Stars Program Award, 2021 
  • Trailblazer Award, Women in Homeland Security, Southern California, 2021 
  • United Nation Association Global Citizen Award, East Bay Chapter, 2021 
  • CDPH Promising Practice Awards, 2018 
Dr. Shruti Dhapodkar - Director of Department of Emergency Management
Dr. Shruti Dhapodkar
Director of Emergency Management
(650) 363-4790