Joseph J. Gleason
Harkcon Academy Instructor
Mr. Joseph Gleason is nationally recognized expert in emergency management and contingency preparedness. He is President of Cheetah Emergency Management Solutions LLC, a certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in emergency management leadership, international incident management, and preparedness. Joe is currently a consultant for the Canadian Coast Guard supporting nation-wide implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS), developing new incident management policies, and designing preparedness exercises for the Canadian Coast Guard and partner agencies.
In 2016, Joe retired as a Captain from the United States Coast Guard after a 31-year military career. He specialized in port operations, incident management, disaster response, and contingency preparedness. He has a passion for promoting organizational leadership and strengthening whole community incident management capabilities.
Joe served in key leadership roles during several national emergencies over the past 20 years. He was the Vice-Chair for Emergency Support Function 10 – Hazardous Materials for the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City as well as the Deputy Operations Section Chief for Hurricane Katrina Principal Federal Official Cell providing lifesaving and life sustaining services to the City of New Orleans and the five most impacted Louisiana parishes. When the largest oil spill in U.S. history occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe served as a member of the Strategic Planning Cell providing critical insight to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator and then as the Coordinator for the Interagency Solutions Group, coordinating the activities of 15 different federal agencies involved in the response.
In his final Coast Guard assignment, Joe led the Coast Guard’s national ICS, Contingency Planning, Exercise, and Continuity of Operations programs at Coast Guard Headquarters where he worked with FEMA to develop policies and guidelines to implement the National Incident Management System and National Planning System.
A passionate advocate for emergency management, Joe has taught ICS in Canada, Brazil, and Norway. He currently volunteers as the Chair of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA) Strategic Planning Committee and Deputy Director of Incident Management and Preparedness for the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He previously served as Chair of the IAEM-USA Uniformed Services Caucus working with the DOD leadership to promote incident management across all military services.
Joe holds several emergency management certifications including Certified Emergency Manager® (IAEM), Master Exercise Practitioner, and advanced Incident Command System (ICS) certifications from the U.S. Coast Guard including Type 1 Incident Commander, Type 1 Planning Section Chief, Type 1 Operations Section Chief, and Type 1 Liaison Officer.