Dr. Alexander Henderson Appointed Commissioner on the Commission on Professional Credentialing
September 23, 2021—Dr. Alexander Henderson, Associate Professor of Public Administration was appointed as a commissioner on the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC), a part of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Henderson will serve as the board’s academic representative in his role at CPC, which focuses on credentialing fire chiefs, fire officers, emergency medical services officers, fire department training officers, and fire marshals.
The structure of CPC reflects the various stakeholders that are involved in emergency services. The board consists of both career and volunteer fire officers, representatives from the International Association of Firefighters and the International City/County Management Association, at large members, and an academic member. Henderson fills the role as the academic member of the commission and brings years of experience in public service and human resource management.
“I bring a unique perspective to credentialing discussions based on my teaching and research in human resources, organizational behavior, and performance assessment and program evaluation. This mix of practice-based expertise and academic perspectives are complementary and mutually supporting in thinking about the critical work of the commission,” Henderson said.
In his role, Henderson and the CPC will meet throughout the year to credential fire and EMS leaders based on academic achievements, professional experience and skills, and engagement throughout the public safety community. “The Commission on Professional Credentialing is vital in that it plays an important role in recognizing excellence among fire and EMS leaders, and in encouraging continued professional development and individual reflection on career goals,” Henderson said.
Henderson is uniquely qualified for this position, as his history in emergency service organizations is extensive. He has served as chief administrative officer, operational officer, and director of several emergency services organizations in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
“Both my academic work and my background in fire and EMS management have reinforced my desire to support emergency services leaders in their truly essential public safety roles,” Henderson said. “My academic position has helped me to think about public service in an increasingly holistic sense and has reinforced the need for systematic and rigorous understanding of how public service leaders are developed. The resulting connections between theory and practice create a space where I’m able to contribute to these broader discussions of leader development in a way that straddles both worlds.”
Drawn to start teaching at Marist in 2019, Henderson’s work is closely aligned with the values of the Marist community. After teaching at another institution for the better part of a decade, he saw an opportunity to further his career educating leaders in public service through the Master of Public Administration program’s rigor and connection to emergency service organizations. “Marist’s values of excellence in education, the importance of community, and a commitment to service are central to the work I do. My time here has reinforced my desire to contribute to public services through our talented and dedicated MPA students, and through my teaching, research, and service,” Henderson said.