Governor Kay Ivey appointed Jeff Smitherman as Acting Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) on May 21, 2022.  After her reelection and inauguration in January of 2023, Jeff Smitherman was appointed as the Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.  

Prior to his appointment, Director Smitherman served as the executive operations officer and the state coordinating officer with the AEMA. He had previously served as the director of response operations where he was responsible for managing the State’s Emergency Operation Center and incident plans. Before his assignment in response operations, he served as the director of recovery operations which includes the Public Assistance Program, Individual Assistance Program and various Mitigation Grant Programs. In all capacities, he has worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a joint field office following a disaster declaration.

Director Smitherman retired in 2015 from the US Army and Alabama National Guard completing a 28-year military career. He served in leadership positions at many levels including as platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander, the J3 of Joint Forces Headquarters Alabama National Guard, and as the G3 of the Alabama Army National Guard. Director Smitherman was selected by his peers to serve as the national chair of the J3 (Domestic Operations) Functional Advisory Council representing the states and territories in domestic operations matters. During his military career, he assisted in the response and recovery to multiple hurricanes, winter storms, tornados (including the historic April 27, 2011 outbreak) and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Director Smitherman has a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.