Eric Smalls

Sloan Public Service Awards • 2023

Title and Organization Chief Technology Officer, NYC Emergency Management


Eric Smalls was born and raised in the Bronx. Mr. Smalls took on various private sector tech roles until the tragedy of 9/11 led him to shift to public service. In 2002, he was hired by the New York City Office of Emergency Management—now known as NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM)—which lost all its IT infrastructure during 9/11. He took on the massive task of building a brand-new state-of-the-art backup system. Mr. Smalls went on to hold a variety of roles at NYCEM, leading up to his current position as the Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Smalls’ accomplishments at NYCEM include his role in the development and deployment of NYCEM’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), configuring and deploying the technology to support the Healthcare Facility Evacuation Center (HEC) at NYCEM during Hurricane Sandy, and coordinating the deployment of IT infrastructure to support the Disaster Assistance Service Center (DASC) at the vacant DMV building in lower Manhattan to provide human services to relocated Hurricane Katrina survivors. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Mr. Smalls coordinated the agency’s move to the cloud and served on the steering committee to develop and implement the agency’s remote work policies. He also oversaw a team that deployed and supported the technology for mass-healthcare sites such as the Javits Center, and he built a virtual call center network to help healthcare workers locate hotels for safe quarantine or isolation. “I think we all strive to have the type of dedication that Eric Smalls has,” said Mark Frankel, a former colleague and direct report. “He knows the importance of the mission of the agency, but it’s very personal for him. For Eric, all of New York City is his family. He approaches every emergency as if his family was in need.”