Amanda Kimball has been named executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation). The eight-year veteran of the independent, non-profit research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association replaces Casey Grant who is retiring in December after 16 years with NFPA and 15 years of directing Research Foundation efforts that support the NFPA mission of eliminating loss from fire, electrical and related hazards.
Kimball spent the past three years as research director for the Research Foundation. Prior to that, for five years she managed projects ranging from literature reviews to large experimental testing endeavors involving suppression, fire alarm, and building life safety.
She will now provide leadership on research initiatives that pertain to fire protection, emergency response, and virtually everything that challenges safety in the built environment. The role requires a great deal of collaboration with a half dozen staff members, NFPA colleagues, board of trustee members, project sponsors, project contractors, advisory panel members who provide peer oversight and guidance, and a broad range of stakeholders.
Kimball holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in fire protection engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and is a registered professional fire protection engineer in the state of Massachusetts. Before the Research Foundation, she was an Arup consultant for seven years focused on fire protection engineering, building code life safety, the design of fire protection systems, and the egress modeling of buildings and subway stations.
“It is an honor to be the new executive director of the Research Foundation,” Kimball said. “So often we hear incoming leaders state that they have big shoes to fill. I know exactly why they say as much, given Casey Grant’s accomplishments, his far-reaching influence, and the indisputable impact that he has had on reducing risk in our world,” Kimball said. “I applaud Casey’s extensive contributions and thank him for the incredible mentorship that he has offered our team members along the way.”
Outgoing executive director Casey Grant earned a reputation for being a well-connected, tireless, game-changer with an eye on emerging issues and a penchant for keeping first responders and the public free from harm.
The Research Foundation was established in 1982 in response to a growing need for research that better informed the expanding body of NFPA codes and standards. Since then, the Research Foundation has facilitated major domestic and international research programs that address industry challenges in detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, storage of commodities, firefighter protective clothing, equipment, public education, and public policy.
Amanda Kimball is certain to build upon the great work that the Research Foundation is doing; she is committed to cultivating synergies and working with a wide range of professionals to reduce risk in the world.