Michelle Royal

Vice President

Michelle Royal is Vice President at FirstLink Research and Analytics. She has over 23 years of experience in the analysis of national and homeland security issues. She has conducted analyses for various offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DoD), examining the capability needs and technology requirements of federal, state, and local emergency responders, border and transportation agents, and service members. Ms. Royal has developed an understanding of domestic and global responder requirements and provides senior-level analytical support to federal, state, local, and international public safety organizations.

Specific highlights of her experience include:

  • Supporting all six phases of Project Responder, an effort initiated in April 2001, to capture those capabilities necessary to respond to catastrophic incidents and identify gaps between existing and needed capabilities.  As Principal Investigator of the most recent phases of Project Responder, she has been involved in a significant number of surveys, interviews and workshops with emergency responders, resulting in an in-depth understanding of their roles and missions. She has extensive experience in facilitating meetings designed to identify needs and gather stakeholder input.
  • Identifying and validating functional and non-functional requirements for multiple domestic and international emergency response-related programs and exercises. She has been responsible for the development of project management plans, concept of operations (CONOPS) analysis, requirements alignment, and after action reporting.
  • Monitoring the availability and correlation of domestic and international technology solutions with responder needs through product development and test and evaluation.
  • Developing written and interactive After Action Reports (AARs) for several DHS emergency response-related projects and large municipal public safety agencies. 

Ms. Royal served as an analyst in the intelligence community and taught intelligence studies courses at the undergraduate level. She holds a BA in International Relations and Italian from The University of Wisconsin – Madison, an MA in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University, and an MBA from The George Washington University. Ms. Royal also has the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

"FirstLink has been a wonderful partner. They are always supportive, helpful, and responsive."

– John Dement, ORTA/Technology Transfer Manager, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division