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Donald R. Byrne
SDMI Senior Fellow- Private Sector Resilience
An entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, Don Byrne brings an executive perspective to the business continuity field. He is a Senior Fellow at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at LSU and an Adjunct Professor at Boston University. An advisor to the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) on the PS-Prep Program he is a member of their Committee of Experts. A certified contingency planner and ISO lead auditor, he has consulted with some of the largest certification firms in the U.S. on the PS Prep program.
A frequent speaker at conferences, he regularly conducts workshops on strategic management, business operations, and resiliency planning. Don is president and CEO of METRIX411, LLC – a software company specializing in business assessments; and a Managing Director of GRCS, LLC a consulting and training firm. He holds degrees in mathematics, philosophy, and international marketing.
He is a contributing writer for the Domestic Preparedness Journal and the NEWS website Continuity Compliance.
W. Michael Dunaway, PhD.
SDMI Senior Fellow
Michael Dunaway is a partner with VTI, LLC, a small business specializing in identifying technologies and building partnerships to enhance community and enterprise resilience. Previously, he served as Senior Director for Preparedness and Resilience Programs at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross, and as Chief for Risk Management and Program Manager for Community Resilience in the Science & Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In 2003, he was founding chairman of the Chesapeake Critical Incident Partnership, a Maryland-based organization dedicated to improving private/public sector collaboration for disaster planning and preparedness. He also served as a consultant to the National Bioterrorism Medical Response Center in Philadelphia, where he authored the first on-line guidebook for hospital contingency planning for large-scale emergencies, published by Drexel University in 2003. From 1973-2000 he served as a surface line officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Captain. He has taught strategy, operational planning, and crisis and risk management at the National Defense University, Naval Postgraduate School, and Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
He holds a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy, M.A. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. He is a certified Search & Rescue Technician with the DELMARVA SAR Group.
President, CEO Comprehensive Intelligence Technology Training Corporation
Jeffrey P. Gerald
SDMI Senior Fellow
Jeffrey P. Gerald is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Comprehensive Intelligence Technology Training Corporation. CINTT Corp. is a new company focused on real world analytical intelligence processing, analyst technology development and Intelligence Community education and training. Jeff was formerly the manager of the Department of Defense’s premiere initiative in Homeland Security command, control and coordination. He was selected from industry to create, formulate and lead this crucial Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program in November 2001 to improve the DoD response in consequence management, crisis response, prevention and deterrence of terrorist events. Jeff has led several successful commercial ventures that developed new technology and innovative telecommunications systems, and he has been a leader in transforming technologies from concept to reality in both the marketplace and in military applications through government procurement. With an extensive background in the government and in the military, Jeff has worked both in military and civilian positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Intelligence Community. He spearheaded the early development of the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle program that began to examine the use of technology and equipment to reduce the need for deployment of battlefield personnel. His military background includes management of airborne reconnaissance systems, development of space-based sensor and communication systems, administration of leading advanced research programs, and command of aviation operations and intelligence training. He pioneered the first seamless, scalable, commercially derived communication system that addressed every echelon from combatant commander to tactical user. And, he created the first spaced-based sensor-to-shooter program that revolutionized military operations by bringing space reconnaissance into the cockpit of aircraft.
Jeff served as a select member of the Gore-Chernamyrdin Commission exchanging environmental, resource, oceanographic and disaster information with Russia and is the recipient of numerous military awards for leadership and innovation. He is a graduate of several pre-eminent military aviation, business and technology curricula. He is currently on the boards of several Government Homeland Security conferences and is often the keynote speaker for DoD Homeland Security technology initiatives.
Jeff currently provides in house strategic development and advisory support to top ten Intelligence Community and Defense Contractors. He is an executive consultant on for multiple successful IC, Defense and DHS billion dollar proposals. Routinely advises corporate leadership on business development, strategy implementation and alignment.
Section Manager,Innovation & Small Business Solutions, Central Zone State Farm Insurance
David M. Hall
SDMI Senior Fellow
Born and Raised in Sinking Spring Pennsylvania, Dave joined State Farm Insurance in February 1988 after Graduating from Bloomsburg University with a BS in Marketing.
Dave earned his CPCU and ALCM designations in 1995. Dave has worked in Commercial Lines Insurance his entire career at State Farm passing through Pennsylvania, Indiana, Louisiana and finally Oklahoma Offices. He is currently serving as the Section Manager for the Innovation and Small Business Solutions for the Central Zone of State Farm Insurance.
Dave served as an adjunct instructor at Indiana State University, Department of Insurance (1999-2000), was a member of the State Farm Insurance Small Business Advisory Council. (2002), and is a frequent speaker around the country on the subject of Small Business Continuity Planning.
Dave’s Community Involvement include serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Tulsa Partners
Dave serves as a volunteer for the Institute for Business and Home Safety, serves on the Insurance working group for The International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP), he is the chairman of the Loss Control Interest Group for the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters and serves on the National Private Sector Working Group for PS Prep through the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University.
He is the Chair of the Disaster Resistant Business Council – A Public/Private partnership between the Institute for Business & Home Safety, State Farm Insurance, Tulsa Partners Inc., the Association of Contingency Planners, Tulsa Public Schools, the Tulsa Metro, Broken Arrow and Bixby Chambers of Commerce, the Bank of Oklahoma, TRC Disaster Solutions, Titan Private Security Vault, and the Tulsa Health Department designed to raise Business Continuity Planning awareness and participation. The Disaster Resistant Business Council has also partnered with the Tulsa Area United Way, the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, the Bixby Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, and Save the Children to co-Sponsor Business Continuity Educational and Planning efforts.
Lieutenant Colonel, New York State Police
SDMI Senior Fellow
David is a twenty-nine year law enforcement veteran currently employed as a Lieutenant Colonel in the New York State Police. Prior to his current assignment, he served as an executive officer responsible in the statewide management of all uniform force activities, including planning and organizing response to major planned events, and emerging large scale incidents. Most recently from the Headquarters perspective, he coordinated his agency’s statewide response to Hurricane Sandy on Long Island, New York, and for these efforts received a Letter of Commendation from his commanding Colonel. He has managed the agency emergency management program and staff assigned to the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for over a decade, and has also served as an agency representative to the State EOC Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group when activated. He has extensive training and experience in the National Incident Management System, sixteen years experience as a local volunteer firefighter, has been trained as a hazardous materials technician, and has been continuously nationally certified as an emergency manager (CEM) since 1993 by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
David has also been a member of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Region 2, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) since its inception in the early 1990’s. He has presented lectures and training programs on mass fatality incident response and management nationally at numerous annual National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) conferences, and on the state and local level in partnership with the State Emergency Management Office and State Department of Health across New York State. In 2010 and 2011, he was asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Emergency Management Institute (EMI) to present instruction for the Mass Fatality Incident Response Course at the national IAEM conference, and has also worked on the curriculum revision team assembled by EMI to provide subject matter technical expertise for revision of the EMI “Mass Fatality Incident Response” training program.
Early in his distinguished career in emergency management, David recognized the significance of private industry and the critical infrastructure sector in community disaster response and recovery, and how their collective contributions with the public sector efforts can enhance a community’s resiliency and ability to rapidly recover. As a Public Sector Advisory Committee member to the Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET) in the early 2000’s, he contributed in efforts to provide the mechanisms for private and public sectors to mutually educate and support each other in times of crisis in the northeast United States.
In 2011 and 2012, David represented the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) on the Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council, Credentialing and Disaster Re-Entry Working Group. This group’s mission was to meet the Nation’s need for a coordinated, standardized national approach to public and private sector responder cross jurisdictional credentialing and disaster re-entry. In December 2011, the Working Group issued an initial report on the challenges of public and private sector credentialing and disaster site re-entry, and offered proposed solutions for national consideration.
David has degrees in criminal justice and fire protection technology, and is a 2007 graduate of the New York State Law Enforcement Executive Institute, administered by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He currently resides with his wife and two children in the Saratoga Springs, New York area.
Captain, Miami Dade Police Department
SDMI Senior Fellow
George Perera is a career law enforcement officer with 25 years service in the Miami-Dade Police Department. He has served in various assignments throughout his career, but spent the majority, prior to promotion, in major crime investigations. As a young investigator he was involved in disaster related investigation in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. This event prompted him to learn about construction and pursue his undergraduate degree in Construction Management from Florida International University. He promoted to Sergeant in 2000 and was assigned to the Communications Bureau, which afforded him the opportunity to learn about police technology. Perera excelled in technology and ultimately has become a subject matter expert in the areas of communications interoperability and cyber security. He is frequently called upon by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to participate in policy related forums as well as speaking engagements. During his tenure at the Communications Bureau he obtained his first Master degree in Public Administration from Lynn University as well as a graduate certificate in Emergency Planning and Administration. He promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to the Information Technology Services Bureau (ITSB). In this assignment he continued to expand his knowledge of security, data storage, networks, as well as all other aspects of police technology. He served as project manager for several significant IT projects, including the 911-telephone switch replacement. While assigned in ITSB he was accepted to the Naval Post Graduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master’s degree program sponsored by DHS and graduated December 2012. He promoted to Captain and is serving as the executive officer in the Robbery Bureau.
Perera has authored several articles related to police technology as well as his thesis regarding cyber security. He belongs to numerous committees and organizations including the International Association of Chief’s of Police, Interagency Board, SAFESOM Emergency Response council and, multiple DHS sponsored working groups on cyber security, police technology and interoperability. He is also the recipient of many awards and commendations including the International Association of Chief’s of Police, Leadership in Technology Award in 2004.
His interests include research into police technology, cyber security, and cyber terrorism.
Jeffrey D. Stern
SDMI Senior Fellow
Jeffrey Stern’s career spans operational, policy-making, consulting, and leadership roles in the government, private, and not-for-profit sectors, from the local firehouse to The White House.
As a homeland security and emergency management professional, he has been a battalion fire chief, a paramedic, a team leader for hazardous materials response, urban search and rescue, tactical (SWAT) paramedics, and an emergency manager with local governments in Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado. In his emergency services career he helped lead incident management teams in response to Hurricanes Charley (2004) and Katrina (2005) and he supported medical relief efforts in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake (2010) on behalf of the Harvard-affiliated Operational Medicine Institute.
In 2006, he was selected as a White House Fellow, where he served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior and was part of a handpicked team assigned to write the president’s National Strategy for Homeland Security at The White House Homeland Security Council. He was then appointed by the president to serve as Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council at the Department of Homeland Security and also coordinated all DHS interaction with the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. He received an outstanding service award from the Secretary of Homeland Security for his work.
Stern is a contributing author to the 4th edition of the ICMA’s book Managing Fire and Emergency Services, writing the chapter on emergency management and homeland security. He also authored “Can Catastrophes Lead to Good Policy?” in the Handbook of Critical Incident Analysis. He is an adjunct lecturer in Georgetown University’s graduate program in Emergency and Disaster Management and has been a guest lecturer the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security, George Washington University, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, and the College of William & Mary. In addition to serving as a SDMI Senior Fellow, he currently serves as a subject matter expert with the InterAgency Board’s Strategic Planning Group, is a member of the DHS Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council Emergency Services Sector Information Sharing Working Group, and advises the board of directors for the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.
He has a B.A. in government from The College of William and Mary, an M.P.A. from American University’s School of Public Affairs, and is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy. He is also a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers, a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program, and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Fire Services Institute.
Lieutenant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
John P. Sullivan, PhD
SDMI Senior Fellow
John P. Sullivan is a career police officer. He currently serves as a lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He is also an adjunct researcher at the Vortex Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia; a senior research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism (CAST); and a senior fellow at Small Wars Journal-El Centro. He is co-editor of Countering Terrorism and WMD: Creating a Global Counter-Terrorism Network (Routledge, 2006) and Global Biosecurity: Threats and Responses (Routledge, 2010) and co-author of Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology (iUniverse, 2011) and Studies in Gangs and Cartels (Routledge, 2013). He completed the CREATE Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government form the College of William and Mary, a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research, and a PhD, doctorate in Information and Knowledge Society, from the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) at the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) in Barcelona. His doctoral thesis was ‘Mexico’s Drug War: Cartels, Gangs, Sovereignty and the Network State.” His current research focus is the impact of transnational organized crime on sovereignty in Mexico and other countries.
Faculty, Arkansas Tech
SDMI Senior Fellow
Mr. Leachman was Interim Head of the Emergency Management (EM) Department at Arkansas Tech University from July 2007 until retirement in December 2011. He continues as adjunct faculty in the Arkansas Tech program which offers both a B.S. in Emergency Management and an M.S. in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He also has over 30 years of program experience in application of geospatial technologies.Mr. Leachman received his B.S. and M.S. in engineering from Louisiana Tech and has done additional graduate work at Clemson University and Nova Southeastern University.
Mr. Leachman joined Arkansas Tech in October 2004 from Baton Rouge where he was Director of Louisiana’s Office of Electronic Services and was responsible for development of the state’s enterprise web portal, Louisiana.gov, and Louisiana MAP which addresses the state’s needs for geographic information. Previously, he worked at Hughes Aircraft and PRC Inc. in development of imagery and mapping systems for U. S. intelligence agencies. His corporate experience includes systems engineering, planning, training, and program management.
At Arkansas Tech he has developed and conducted Emergency Management courses focused on application of technology in emergency management, business continuity, disaster management systems design, and risk assessment. His research interests include application of Geospatial and Project Planning and Management technologies to Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Mr. Leachman integrated these technologies into Tech’s curriculum, directed student research, and conducted outreach projects applying these technologies to hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado, and other known threats.
Mr. Leachman expanded the outreach component Arkansas Tech’s Emergency Management Department to the point that a separate, dedicated organizational element, the Center for Preparedness and Recovery, was established to handle the growing need for service outreach. Mr. Leachman served on the university strategic planning initiative and the 2011 HLC Accreditation Self-Study Committee. He also served on the Arkansas Continuity of Operations Technology Working Group and as the university representative on the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (AREON) Management Committee.