Director of Response Operations
Don Griffith serves as IEM’s Director of Response Operations, leading IEM’s response efforts across the nation, including our former COVID-19 vaccination and monoclonal antibodies (mAb) treatments in 16 states and our continued support for air operations and logistics to current and future clients. Griffith is an experienced disaster response professional with 34 years of aviation, emergency management, and homeland security experience, including 14 years of experience managing programs related to response, recovery, and preparedness. He has deployed disaster air response experts to 11 U.S. territorial airports in both the Atlantic and Pacific in response to Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Irma, Maria, Delta as well as Super Typhoon Yutu.
Griffith oversees IEM’s programs in aviation, transportation research, logistics, sheltering, case management, hazardous materials (hazmat) commodity flows study, evacuations, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones), and public utilities.
Griffith is a former U.S. Air Force officer and Master Navigator with more than 5,000 flight hours (including over 1,000 combat and combat support hours) flying: T-37, T-43A, T-34C, T-39N, T-1A, E-3B/C, and AC-130U aircraft. He deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina as the Chief Air Mobility Liaison Officer for the 82nd Airborne Division to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Louisiana, where he coordinated logistical requirements for U.S. Transportation Command to deploy the 82nd Airborne Division. Additionally, he worked with the New Orleans Aviation Board to secure the airport and resume sustained commercial flight operations.
Griffith led a 16-man TALCE (Tanker Airlift Control Element) in response to the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami. He re-opened the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, to international relief efforts and facilitated the off-loading of disaster relief supplies, medical supplies, and personnel while simultaneously evacuating Indonesian Displaced People (IDP). He worked along with the Indonesian government, United Nations, World Food Programme (WFP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and 57 nations to restore full operations of the airport.
Griffith has a master’s degree (with honors) in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness from American Military University, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He is also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.