Christopher Lagan serves as the Acting Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC), which leads FEMA’s commitment to whole-community emergency management by integrating individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into all aspects of disaster response, recovery and mitigation.
Mr. Lagan joined FEMA in August of 2016 after seven years as a senior leader in the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Public Affairs, where he established the military’s first social media policy and doctrine, co-authored the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Direction to the Joint Force on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) as a member of Gen. Dempsey’s Operational Planning Team on SAPR, and served as director of strategic communication for the Unified Area Command during the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill ensuring the Federal Government response was timely, relevant and transparent to impacted communities.
Mr. Lagan has spent the majority of the past two decades working in the fields of environmental and social justice. From 2001 to 2004, he served as special assistant to renowned environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall and media officer for the non-partisan environmental think tank the World Resources Institute. In 2004, he was appointed by the administration of President George W. Bush to serve as speechwriter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Leavitt where he also authored EPA’s National Incident Response Communication Plan in response to lessons learned during the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our Nation. In 2005, he joined Bono’s DATA (debt AIDS trade Africa) where he served as press secretary leveraging celebrity spokespersons, policy experts and grass roots organizations to draw attention to and successfully make the case for debt relief, foreign aid and health programs to support more than a billion people living on less than a dollar a day in sub-Saharan Africa through campaigns like The ONE Campaign and the global Live8 concerts held in conjunction with the 2005 G8 Summit.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Lagan served as a private strategic planning and communication consultant. During that time he produced a National Press Club event and satellite media tour featuring George Clooney, Sen. Sam Brownback and Sen. Barack Obama to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur; developed a strategic plan for Morgan Freeman’s hurricane preparedness campaign Plan!t Now; co-produced a jazz benefit concert in New Orleans to benefit the National Spinal Cord Injury Association; produced a press conference in New Orleans featuring National Spinal Cord Injury Association Executive Director and CEO Marcie Roth and retired U.S. Army Gen. Russel Honoré to make the case for disability integration into disaster response planning and implementation; and served as a special advisor to CNN Heroes where he vetted environmental and social justice candidates for this prestigious award.
Mr. Lagan is a graduate of the University Connecticut where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (summa cum laude), DOD’s Defense Information School (honor graduate) and the U.S. Naval War College (with highest distinction) where he studied national security and strategic planning.