An experienced leader in his field, with deep local roots, who is dedicated to service

"Excellence and leadership in public administration is defined by humility, dedication, and service to the public." These are the words Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley, Jr. lives by.

During Black History Month, the County joins in celebrating local African American leaders who make a daily positive impact on residents. Director Dudley exemplifies this spirit.

Army life prepared him for Emergency Management role

His commitment to leadership and service is apparent. His office walls are lined with pictures of his family, past and present work teams, and impressive educational accolades. All of which, as he says, make him who he is today.

Tim Dudley just might have been made for this job. His cumulative experience leading up to 2020 prepared him for what his team would encounter as they helped pilot the county through COVID-19.

As Dudley explained, County Administrator Bonnie Wise and the Board of County Commissioners were the COVID-19 guides, and Dudley and his team turned their guidance into action.

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Dudley graduated from Lakewood High School. His favorite part of growing up was working side by side with his grandfather at their family-owned gas station. Hours were spent learning life lessons, while working the business and tackling car repairs.

Upon graduation from high school, Dudley knew that a regular job wasn't for him. He wanted to be active and part of a dynamic team. He wanted to serve his community and the country. Naturally, Dudley followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps and went into the second family business; he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Tim Dudley and family posing for photo
Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley, Jr. shown with his father, Timothy Dudley, Sr. (left) and grandfather, Ezell Boykin, Sr. (right)

His service in the Army inspired his calling to work in the field of disaster planning and management. As he watched the events of Hurricane Katrina unfold, Dudley took a hard look at FEMA's planning and response tactics. During his military years, he studied the field. Dudley obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in homeland security, a Master of Science degree in emergency services management, and certificates in executive leadership.

The Army's structure turned out to be well suited for Dudley, and he spent 27 years making it a career. He and his family made 11 moves during that time, and Dudley found himself progressing through the ranks at every turn.

His Army career took him from Virginia to North Carolina, from Saudi Arabia to Korea. He called Texas home for a while, as well as other places in between. And, just like his grandfather mentored him, Dudley spent his years building teams and fostering skills in future leaders.

Dudley's final role in the military was as the J63 Operations Sergeant Major at U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa. He retired as a decorated Sergeant Major in 2014, and he and his family are happy to be home. He resides in the Tampa Bay area with his wife, Shonnette, and their four children and one grandchild.

Service continues

After retirement, Dudley joined the Pinellas County Emergency Management team for five years and then took the helm at Hillsborough County's Office of Emergency Management in 2019.

Currently, the Office of Emergency Management teams consists of 17 people and is under the much larger umbrella of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. Dudley says his team has grown over the last three years and continues to do so. The county's fast-paced growth means that the County's Emergency Management team must grow with it. They must be prepared for any disaster or large-scale emergency event at any time.

As for his goals for the future, Dudley is quick to say that he wants to provide opportunities for young professionals to train in the dynamic career of emergency management.

And, what is the "right" reason to go into this profession? In Dudley's mind, there is only one answer. To serve.

Last Modified: 1/25/2024, 5:35:46 PM

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