Col. Joseph Booth
Manager of External Relations
Project Manager, Center for Business Preparedness
Emergency Management Program Analyst
Project Manager,Education & Training
Judy H. Walker
Col. Joseph Booth
Col. Joseph Booth is the Executive Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Prior to joining SDMI, Col. Booth was the Homeland Security and Public Safety Solutions Manager in the IT sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is an acknowledged subject matter expert with over 25 years of experience in command and control environments, communications interoperability, and information fusion. He was a member of the Northrop Grumman Combined Homeland Security Integration Group, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Integrated Strategy Team that develops corporate business strategy to transition sophisticated technologies into the state and local government homeland security market.
Prior to Northrop Grumman, Col. Booth served as a Deputy Superintendent of Louisiana State Police (LSP) and was the critical incident commander over preparation and response for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. While with the LSP, he chaired the State Emergency Response Commission, and served as a subject matter expert for the Department of Defense (DOD) Inter Agency Board. He also served as the State Program Manager for the DOD Homeland Security Command and Control Advanced Concepts and Technology Demonstration, and a DOD sponsored cyber security program designed create a private and public sector partnership to protect critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. He has received commendations from several Governors, the Louisiana National Guard, NASA, and other government agencies.
Col. Booth initiated and led Louisiana’s communications interoperability program and formed a multi-state Gulf Coast Coalition to implement an integrated, single architecture for first responders in the multi-state area. He also led the implementation of the nation’s initial effort in 700MHz technology for public safety communication. He is an original member of Zola’s Group, an affiliation of federal and military intelligence and information-gathering agencies seeking to remove administrative and bureaucratic impediments to intelligence sharing in the post-9/11 environment.
In addition to earning his bachelor’s in law enforcement from Southeastern Louisiana University, Col. Booth holds a master’s in criminal justice from Northeast Louisiana University and a juris doctorate in law from Southern University School of Law.
Lauren Bourg is the Manager of External Relations of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. At SDMI, Lauren is responsible for overseeing all marketing and outreach efforts of the institute. She manages the coordination of public relations, communications, and special events. She also chairs the communications committee for the newly established Food & Agriculture Protection Training Consortium (FAPTC).
Prior to joining SDMI, Lauren worked in public affairs for the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, coordinating its communications and outreach efforts. She also managed all outreach efforts for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).The NDPC is a partnership of several nationally recognized organizations whose membership is based on the urgent need to address the counter-terrorism preparedness needs of the nation’s emergency first responders within the context of all hazards including chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hazards.
Lauren Bourg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication in December of 2007, with a minor in Business Administration.
Lexie Bowling is the Project Manager for the Center for Business Preparedness, in which she oversees the direction of the Center. She is responsible for the management of grants to establish a central point of collaboration for research, knowledge sharing, and outreach to address challenges to small businesses while working to enhance and evolve private sector resilience.
Prior to joining SDMI, Lexie gained experience in the field of emergency management and preparedness in the private industry as well as at the local government level. As a Hazard Mitigation Specialist for IEM, Inc., Lexie served as a technical writer for the development of numerous hazard mitigation-related proposals. As the Task Lead for the Small Rental Property Program (SRPP) for IEM, Inc., Lexie managed the Long Term Compliance and Monitoring Team (LTC&M). Under the Community Development Block Grant, the SRPP funded small rental property owners whose properties were damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Property owners under the program provided affordable housing to low-to-moderate income tenants, and the LTC&M Team monitored the actions of these property owners.
As Chief of Operation and All Hazards Planner for the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (EBR OHSEP), Lexie was responsible for maintaining and revising the Emergency Operations Plan, including Continuity of Operations plans and Standard Operating Guidelines. She applied for, managed, and tracked state and federal grant opportunities and directed the Local Emergency Planning Committee and their meetings. Also, Lexie served as a liaison between representatives for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and outside agency officials. Lexie’s experience with the EBR OHSEP includes the long-term emergency activation of the EOC for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Lexie is a native of Baton Rouge and holds a Master of Science degree in Geography from the LSU School of Geography and Anthropology, with a concentration in climatology. She conducted her thesis research in climatology, focusing on hurricane and tropical storm return periods in the Caribbean region. Lexie also received her undergraduate degree from LSU, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a Minor in Spanish.
Andres Calderon is an Associate Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Calderon has 10 years of experience in the development of decision support systems for emergency management and a strong background in the design of health information technologies. He led the development of scientific methodologies and computer-based models used by the U.S. Army and FEMA for risk quantification and response to the threat of chemical weapons, a program sponsored by the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM). Calderon has expertise in multi-jurisdictional planning and the coordination of emergency management operations.
As Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of First Responder Systems and Technology, Calderon established the strategic direction of the company’s technology offerings and identifying the role that specific technologies play in the growth and path of future products. Calderon was responsible for many of the business development efforts of the company and was a frequent speaker on industry trends and company products to government officials and potential customers. He was responsible for the technical selection, negotiation, and sale of the company’s multi-million dollar technology that served as exit path for the investors of the company.
Calderon worked as technology strategist on the state-wide Health Information Exchange project at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. He developed a plan for the acquisition of funding for health information technology (HIT) initiatives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He also drafted recommendations and responded to bills passed by the legislature that informed departmental decisions regarding electronic health records (EHR) adoption in Louisiana.
Calderon is a graduate of LSU where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Computer Engineering (1991) as well as his Master of Science degree in Information Systems and Decision Sciences (1999). As a recipient of the LSU and University of Heidelberg Scholarship, Calderon conducted post graduate research and graduate studies in applied mathematics at the Ruprecht Karl Universität, Heidelberg, Germany. Calderon also has Master of Business Administration from Tulane University, A. B. Freeman College of Business, where he graduated with honors as the sole recipient of the Vorholt Leadership Award of the class of 2001.
Brant Mitchell began his career with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) in 2001 as a staff member with the Louisiana National Guard attached full-time to GOHSEP. In this capacity he served as the National Guard’s Counter-Terrorism Program Manager and eventually became the Program Manager for the Homeland Security Grants for Louisiana. In August 2006 he officially joined GOHSEP as the Section Chief for the newly formed Regional Support Section and was later promoted to Deputy Director of Management, Finance and Interoperability.
Brant was also responsible for the introduction of Virtual Louisiana, which is a Google Earth Enterprise software product utilized by over 700 local, State and Federal government agencies and currently supports over 4,000 users. He later introduced Louisiana Earth, which is the first publicly released version of the Google Earth Enterprise software and designed to assist citizens in Louisiana to prepare for disasters by providing critical information during disasters and information that is necessary to help citizens prepare their own family disaster plans. Brant also represented GOHSEP on the State’s Geographic Information System Council where he served two years as its Vice-Chair.
Since July 2008 Brant has served as Chairman of the Statewide Interoperability Executive Council (SIEC), which is responsible for providing governance of the Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN), one of the nation’s first statewide digital 700 MHz radio systems. Today LWIN is the largest digital radio system providing voice communications to over 67,000 users across the State. In 2010 in response to the BP Oil Spill, Brant let the efforts to coordinate and provide the U.S. Coast Guard mission critical voice communications by establishing GulfWIN, which involved providing hardware and software connections between stand alone radio systems in Louisiana, Mississippi, Orange Beach, Alabama and five separate systems in Texas. GulfWIN allowed first responders responsible for mitigating the impact of the BP Oil Spill to have seamless voice communications from Corpus Christie, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. In 2011, Brant was selected as a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety Advisory Committee for the Emergency Response Interoperability Committee in which he assisted in developing technical specifications for the eventual nationwide build out of a broadband network. Brant also serves as a board member for LSU’s Gulf Coast Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency.
Brant has been a member of the Louisiana National Guard since 1989. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he commanded an Infantry company in Baghdad, Iraq. Brant is currently a Major assigned to the J-6 in the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters.
He is married to the former Maria Schneider and they have three children, Megan, Davis and Claire. The Mitchells reside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Margaret M. Pierce is the Emergency Management Programs Analyst at LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. She conducts applied research and implements projects on a variety of emergency management topics including the growing trend of business emergency operations centers, business continuity, disaster response and recovery, and training.
Pierce joined SDMI with professional management experience in disaster response, planning, mitigation, and education from the LSU Agricultural Center, American Red Cross, and parish-level Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
As the Response Director at the Louisiana Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross in Baton Rouge, Pierce was responsible the agency’s coordinated disaster plans, logistics and emergency feeding and sheltering. She has coordinated volunteer and government disaster response efforts on the local and state levels for events including Hurricanes Charley, Katrina, and Rita and the 2007 Texas floods.
Pierce served as Assistant Director of the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). During her term in Ascension, she assisted in the parish’s response to both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita through the coordination of emergency operation center activities, including preliminary damage assessment, bulk distribution of donated supplies, and shelter support.
Pierce holds a B.A. in Secondary Education with a minor in Journalism from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She earned a graduate certificate in Emergency Management from the Institute for Emergency Preparedness at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and completed the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s Professional Development Series.
Lauren Stevens is a native of Florida and a graduate of The Florida State University. In 2002 she was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Army as a Transportation Officer stationed at Fort Eustis, VA and Fort Benning, GA.
Following her military service, Lauren began her career in Louisiana with the Southern Anti-Terrorist Regional Training Academy (SARTA) as Operations & Finance Officer. While with SARTA, Lauren coordinated and provided oversight to the academy curriculum, instructor staff, budgeting, and day to day operations which resulted in counter-terrorism training for thousands of law enforcement/first responder personnel nation-wide.
During Hurricane Katrina, Lauren was moved over to work at the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in the State Emergency Operations Center. After working for over 8 months with LOHSEP still assigned to SARTA, she accepted a position as Exercise Officer with the agency in mid – 2006. LOHSEP, now GOHSEP – Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Lauren has worked in both the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Exercise and Training Programs at the officer level. She then moved to manage the Training and Exercise Programs including the Radiological Group as Branch Manager. While under her supervision, Louisiana’s All Hazards exercise program became one of the largest, most robust and well respected programs in the nation at the state level. Under her direction, Louisiana conducted the nation’s first Naval Post Graduate School Executive Education Seminar for Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC)/Private & Public Partnerships, as well as the nation’s first BEOC Functional Exercise. She has served on national working groups for Department of Homeland Security’s National Exercise Division and National Training and Education Division. Most recently, Lauren served as Assistant Chief and Chief of the GOHSEP Preparedness Section, overseeing the Training, Exercise, Radiological, Planning and Critical Infrastructure programs for the State. She has also worked operations for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Gulf Oil Spill, 2011 Mississippi river flooding, as well as many other state declared disasters.
Lauren was certified a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) in 2008 through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute.
Judy H. Walker
Judy Walker is the Business Manager of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. At SDMI, Walker is responsible for reconciling all accounts, preparing regular monthly financial reports in coordination with the associate director, and ensuring that all accounting transactions are processed and submitted to the appropriate administrations office. Walker is responsible for planning and scheduling events, conferences, and meetings for SDMI. She also supervises all SDMI graduate students.