Trained in physical and social science, Jonathan began his career as a volunteer assisting Hurricane Katrina evacuees in 2005. He has dedicated his time since then to tackling complex disaster resilience, response, and recovery challenges through leveraging scientific and technical knowledge and strong relationships with other passionate emergency management and public safety professionals. His current research interests include augmented and extended reality technology, generative AI, the nexus of emergency management and national security, severe weather, and resilience.
From 2018-2022, Jonathan served as Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the State of Alabama Emergency Management Agency, where he was responsible for managing all aspects of agency operations and administration. During his time at AEMA, the state managed fourteen Presidentially declared FEMA major disasters and emergencies, including Hurricane Michael in 2018, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hurricane Sally in 2020. His role included leading reorganizational efforts, overseeing strategic planning, and building programs to enhance stakeholder engagement in the state’s integrated emergency management system.
Prior to his appointment at AEMA, Jonathan served as the Director of the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency in Alabama from 2011-2018, where he led the community through multiple disasters including the historic April 27, 2011, tornado super outbreak. While working in local government, he also served as a county administrator, managed the community's participation in the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP), and specialized as a WMD response planner. In addition to state and local government work, Jonathan has served on the federal level as a member of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) since 2008, specializing in disaster communications, logistics, and information technology.
Jonathan is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the homeland security and emergency management program at Idaho State University, and he previously taught in Jacksonville State University’s emergency management program. He is a past president of the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers and is an active member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)’s Government Affairs and Training and Education committees. He serves as a national liaison to FEMA's Emergency Management Institute and other training programs on behalf of IAEM.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Jacksonville State University in 2010 and graduated from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) master's degree program in 2016, where his studies focused on national security strategy.