CMS Leadership

Emergency Preparedness & Response Operations

Skip A. Payne


Captain Skip Payne is an active duty Commissioned Corps officer assigned to CMS as the Director for Emergency Preparedness and Response Operations (EPRO). Skip also serves as the CMS Continuity Manager. In this capacity he leads a senior professional-level agency staff who is responsible for assuring the effectiveness of CMS’s continuity and emergency management program requirements that may have Agency and HHS-wide implications. Also, as the CMS Continuity Manager, Skip leads the senior professional-level agency staff who is responsible for ensuring that our staff are prepared, equipped, trained, and ready to respond to the consequences of domestic and international public health and medical threats, emergencies, pandemics and disasters, as well as mitigate the effects and recover from the impacts.

Prior to this, Skip was previously assigned to HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Office of the Surgeon General where he helped lead the Medical Reserve Corps and helped to stand up ASPR’s Division of Intelligence. Additionally, he brings a vast amount of deployment and response experiences with him to CMS.

Before starting his active duty service, Skip served as a local public health epidemiologist and bioterrorism readiness coordinator for the Seneca County General Health District in Seneca County, OH. He also served as a member of the Health District Environmental Health Response Team (HazMat Technician-WMD). He has earned a Master of Science degree in public health, a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and organizational development, and holds multiple professional certifications. Skip's select US Public Health Service awards and decorations include the Surgeon General Exemplary Service Medal, multiple Outstanding Service Medals, and the USPHS Field Medical Readiness Badge.

Rodney Waltersdorff

Deputy Director

Rodney Waltersdorff joins CMS as the Deputy Director for Emergency Preparedness and Response Operations (EPRO). Rodney started his career in 2004 with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Logistics Management Specialist working at a Maryland-based Distribution Center.  In 2009, Rodney transitioned, along with the National Disaster Medical Systems (NDMS), to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), working as the National Program Manager for Supply Chain Operations, Transportation, and Logistics. This position allowed him the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge working with Senior Executives at the headquarters level as well as directly with field response agents during numerous disaster responses and National Special Security Events both within the continental and outside the United States. 

Rodney joins us directly from the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he served as the Deputy Branch Chief for Logistics within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Emergency Management (OEM). During his career with VHA OEM, Rodney has been instrumental in assisting in the development of the administration’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) as well as the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). 

Rodney has more than 18 years of experience working with Emergency Management and Continuity planning.  Rodney has completed the National Emergency Management Basic Academy (NEMBA) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute, as well as obtained a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness, a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Justice Studies, and has completed multiple professional certifications.

Page Last Modified:
09/06/2023 07:04 PM