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Executive Staff

IDHS Executive Team

  • Executive Director - Joel Thacker
    Joel Thacker

    Gov. Eric J. Holcomb appointed Joel Thacker as executive director in June 2022. He served as Indiana State Fire Marshal from 2020 to 2022. 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.

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  • State Fire Marshal - Stephen Jones
    Stephen Jones

    Gov. Eric J. Holcomb appointed Stephen Jones as the Indiana state fire marshal in August 2022. He served previously as Brownsburg Fire Territory fire marshal.

    Jones began his career as a firefighter and EMT in 1984 in central Indiana. He became a career firefighter in Pike Township (Marion County) in 1989 and served as deputy fire marshal, safety and training officer, hazmat training coordinator, fire inspector, deputy chief of administration and division chief of prevention services. In 2013, he became fire marshal in Brownsburg, where he oversaw building code enforcement, fire investigation and public education and community risk reduction.

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  • Director of Emergency Management - Mary Moran
    Mary moran

    Mary Moran has extensive experience in disaster response and recovery, earned from 21 years with the agency. She joined the state as a program coordinator in mitigation for what was then the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) before IDHS was formed in 2005. She has served as the state hazard mitigation officer, mitigation branch chief and most recently as the state recovery officer. Moran has a master’s degree in emergency management from Indiana University.

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  • State Building Commissioner - Craig Burgess
    Craig Burgess

    In 2017, Governor Eric J. Holcomb appointed Craig Burgess as the State Building Commissioner, part of IDHS. Before becoming the building commissioner, Burgess held positions as the Plan 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.

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  • Chief of Staff - Jonathan Whitham
    Jonathan Whitham

    An Indiana native and Hoosier for life, Jonathan Whitham began his public safety career in Bloomington, Ind., while attending Indiana University, where he received a degree in telecommunications, business and political science. He was a volunteer firefighter and EMT 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 degree from the Indiana University School of Law in 2009.

    Whitham joined IDHS 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.

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