Michael J. Gaffney

Profile image of Michael J. Gaffney
Job Title: Assistant Director of Extension
Office Phone: (509) 335-4611
Cell Phone: 509 338-0318
Delegate Type: Point of Contact (POC)
Institution: Washington State University
State: WA
Area of Specialty:
Community and Economic Development, Extension Director/Administrator
Community and Economic Development
FEMA Courses Completed:
ICS 100, ICS 200, IS 700, IS 800


Michael J. Gaffney is the Assistant Director of Extension, Director of the Extension Community and Economic Development program unit, and Chief of the Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School at Washington State University. Previous appointments at WSU include Director of the Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS), Director of WSU’s Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice, and most notably as Director of the WSU Office of Emergency Management for a period of more than five years ending in 2017. Mike has a long history of collaboration with the Washington State Association of Counties, the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office, and other public agencies to advance applied research and innovative public policy practices and to provide training.

Mike’s experience with emergency management and disaster response began when he was on active duty in the Air Force, where he participated in base Disaster Response Teams dealing with terrorism, aircraft accidents and other critical incidents. Mike is a graduate of the Inter-service Nuclear Weapons School’s Senior Officer Nuclear Accident Course, is a FEMA-certified trainer in a number of topics and has also been certified as a public safety trainer by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Washington Criminal Justice Training Center, the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety, and the Extension Disaster Education Network. Mike has also been active in the Washington State Emergency Managers Association. He served as the lead facilitator for the Governor’s Oso Slide Commission, and co-led the WSU Extension team which worked with the communities of Arlington and Darrington on long-term recovery from that event.

As a faculty member, Mike has conducted research and published on a number of topics, including Social Capital, Community-Oriented Policing, Regional Planning, Economic Development, Citizen/Government Relationships, Natural Resource Stewardship, Biased Policing, Project and Program Evaluation, Disaster Response, and Community Resilience. As an Administrator, in addition to the positions referenced above, Mike served as Acting Director of WSU Extension for the three years ending in December 2019, with primary responsibility for overseeing operations of the statewide Extension system in Washington. Mike currently chairs the Western Extension Directors Association and serves on a number of committees within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and under the eXtension umbrella related to the national Cooperative Extension system.

Full Directory