Director of Response Operations
Don Griffith brings a wealth of experience to his Director of Response Operations role at IEM. With over 30 years of aviation, emergency management, and homeland security expertise, he leads IEM’s response efforts nationwide, including critical operations such as COVID-19 vaccination and monoclonal antibody treatments. His leadership extends to air operations and logistics, supporting federal, state, and private sector clients.
Significant achievements in disaster response mark Don’s career. He has deployed disaster air response experts to numerous airports for natural disasters, including Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Irma, Maria, Delta, and Super Typhoon Yutu. His oversight of IEM’s programs spans aviation, transportation, logistics, sheltering, case management, hazardous materials, evacuation, unmanned aircraft systems, and public utilities.
A former Air Force officer and Master Navigator, Don has an impressive record of over 5,000 flight hours, including significant combat and combat support hours. His deployment highlights his military career in response to Hurricane Katrina and his role in the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami response, where he reopened the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport to international relief efforts and coordinated with multiple international organizations for disaster relief.
Don is academically accomplished with a master’s degree from American Military University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. He is a distinguished Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate and an active member of several professional associations, reflecting his commitment to continuous learning and professional development.
In his tenure at IEM, Don has been instrumental in deploying experts for various disaster responses and overseeing significant projects. He played a pivotal role in creating IEM Air, a division specializing in disaster air response missions. He also transformed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s airfield assessment program. His innovative approaches have led to cost savings and enhanced efficiencies in disaster response operations. Don’s expertise and strategic leadership remain invaluable assets to IEM and its diverse emergency management initiatives.