Colonel (ret) Brian Hastings is the current Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Brian’s passion for public service, science and flight led him to enter the United States Air Force Academy in 1986. He graduated with an Applied Physics degree in Astrodynamics and served as an A-10 pilot in the United States Air Force from 1990 until he retired as the Commandant of the prestigious Air Command and Staff College on 1 September 2017. Prior to his retirement, Brian also served as the Wing Commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB, and the Deputy Director of Operations of the Combat Air Forces of Air Combat Command. During his military career, Brian also earned a MS degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle and a MA Degree in Resourcing National Security Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (Eisenhower School). Additionally, for his military service he earned two Legion of Merit Medals, the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan, and three Meritorious Service Medals. Brian was a command pilot with more than 2,600 hours in attack and training aircraft and was an Instructor Pilot in the A-10, AT-38B and the T-38C.
In August 2017, Governor Kay Ivey named Brian as the Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and he transitioned to public service for the people of Alabama on September 5, 2017. In less than one week, the State Emergency Operations Center activated for Hurricane Irma to receive and shelter more than 250,000 evacuees from Florida while caring for the needs of Alabamians. Brian walked into the costliest and 5th most active Hurricane season on record since 1851. Since joining Governor Ivey’s Cabinet, Brian has led AEMA through multiple Emergency Declarations and 12 Presidential Major Disaster Declarations, in which the disasters in 2020 account for 10 percent of Alabama’s Major Disaster Declarations since 1961.
Brian is also a graduate of the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) Executive Education Course and was an inaugural inductee into their 2018 Meta-leadership Project Hall of Fame for his positive impact in the fight against opioids with his involvement with community Naloxone projects. Additionally, he was honored to receive an invitation and award from the UK Consulate to participate in 2019 US Resilience Mission to the UK.
Working to expand Alabama’s influence in national emergency management and resilience conversations, Brian holds leadership positions as the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee for the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the Tri-Chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium, as well as the Co-Chair of the Committee for disaster assistance to low-income citizens for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Brian also serves on the Board of Directors for both the Central United States Earthquake Consortium and NEMA, and he is a member of the Science Council for the Baron Critical Weather Institute. Brian is a Founder and Member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Emergency Services Technology (CEST), and recently was selected to the Board of Visitors of the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Robert Morris University.
Brian continues to volunteer his time and has joined other national associations and local organizations like the First Responders Resource Group (FRRG), the Wright Flyers, and the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. He is also a lifetime member of the Daedalians, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), US Air Force Academy Association of Graduates (AOG) and the Air Force Association (AFA).
Regardless of his noteworthy career and service, Brian will quickly tell you his greatest accomplishments are at home with his beautiful wife Eileen and three sons—Sean, Jake and Luke.