September 1, 2015
Stephenson’s National Center for Security Research and Training Executive Director Jeffrey A. Moulton announced today the appointment of Brant Mitchell as the new Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University.
Mr. Mitchell succeeds Joseph Booth who concluded his stint as Director in June. Mr. Booth served in the capacity of Director for the last five years and oversaw the growth of SDMI from a small staff of five to over 18 full-time and 12 part-time employees. During his tenure SDMI secured over $6 million in research and public service based projects.
Mr. Moulton praised Mr. Booth for his hard work, dedication and untiring effort to ensure SDMI was meeting the intent of Toni and Emmet Stephenson whose vision led to the creation of SDMI following the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and Rita in Louisiana in 2005. “When Joey took over the reins of SDMI, the Institute was still trying to define how it was going to achieve its mission of saving lives and animals through applied research. Joey reorganized the institute, brought in highly capable staff, and provided the necessary leadership and vision to grow SDMI’s capabilities and influence. Thanks to Joey’s efforts, SDMI is on solid footing today. LSU thanks him for his time and effort and wishes him great success as starts the next chapter of his life” stated Mr. Moulton.
Mr. Mitchell brings with him over 19 years of experience in disaster management. Prior to joining LSU he spent over 15 years with the Louisiana’s Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). While employed at GOHSEP, Mr. Mitchell served as the Director of Interoperability, Finance and Management in which his primary role was to oversee the buildout of the nation’s first 700 MHz statewide P25 compliant radio system. Through his leadership as the Chairman of the Statewide Interoperable Executive Committee, the state build the largest statewide radio system in the United States which today is providing mission critical voice communications to over 80,000 federal, state and local first responders throughout Louisiana.
“We are excited to appoint Brant as the new Director of SDMI. With his background as a practitioner in the disaster management community and his military experience, Brant is uniquely qualified to lead SDMI. In addition to his vast practical experience, he is also focusing his efforts on providing applied research that will assist decision makers during disasters as he pursues his PhD. Transitioning applied research to the disaster management community is a core function of SDMI and his ability to understand the needs of the practitioner and focus research in addressing existing gaps in disaster management will position SDMI to continue to be successful moving forward” stated Mr. Moulton.
In the last three years Mr. Mitchell has served as the Institute’s Director of Research and Operations. In this capacity, Mr. Mitchell has served as principal investigator for fifteen projects totaling nearly $6 million. Mr. Mitchell is currently serving as the PI for SDMIs engagement in the Stevens Institute of Technology Maritime Security Center, which has been designated as a DHS Center of Excellence. Past performance includes research for the National Emergency Management Association and the United States Agency for International Development – Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Current projects include serving as PI for a City Resiliency Exchange between the City of New Orleans and Gothenburg, Sweden, the updating of 55 parish hazard mitigation plans for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the development of a behavioral analysis for Southeast Louisiana in response to hurricane evacuation orders for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Mr. Mitchell is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography and his research interest include the development of decision support tools that integrate social vulnerability, hazard mapping and operational models to include the Advanced Circulation and Storm Surge Model (ADCIRC) and the Advanced Surge Guidance System (ASGS).
In addition, to working at SDMI Mr. Mitchell is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he commanded an infantry company in Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. Mitchell is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves assigned to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center where he functions as an Operations Officer.