Amanda Kimball, an eight-year veteran of the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation), was named executive director of the independent, non-profit research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association. She replaces Casey Grant who is retiring in December after 16 years with NFPA, followed by 15 years directing Research Foundation efforts that support the NFPA mission of eliminating loss from fire, electrical and related hazards.
Kimball is well-known in research circles given her role as research director since 2016, and the five years she spent prior to that overseeing Research Foundation projects ranging from literature reviews to large experimental testing endeavors involving suppression, fire alarm, and building life safety.
As the executive director, Kimball will now provide leadership on research initiatives that pertain to fire protection, emergency response, and virtually everything that challenges safety in the built environment. In addition to managing a half dozen staff members, Kimball will work with the Research Foundation’s board of trustees and collaborate with project sponsors, project contractors, and advisory panel members who provide peer oversight and guidance.
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. Prior to her arrival at the Research Foundation in 2011, she worked for seven years in a consultant capacity for Arup providing insights on fire protection engineering, building code life safety, the design of fire protection systems, and the egress modeling of buildings and subway stations.
“Amanda Kimball is well-suited to lead the Research Foundation into the future,” NFPA president and Research Foundation Chairman of the Board Jim Pauley said. “Her ability to collaborate with different entities and generate research that addresses safety gaps, informs audiences, and tackles emerging issues has been consistently demonstrated over the years. The board of directors is confident that she will build on the Research Foundation’s solid legacy by proactively addressing issues that threaten building and life safety.”
“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 undisputable 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”
The Research Foundation was established in 1982 in response to a growing need for research that better informed NFPA’s expanding body of 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.