Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Brandon has advised corporate and government clients, and trained members of the incident response community, on crisis and environmental risk communication, public information operations, collaborative communication activities, media and community relations and social media in emergency response. During his 22-year Coast Guard career as an all-hazards Public Information Officer, he deployed worldwide to natural and human-caused disasters to communicate health and safety information to affected publics. Brandon has been the on-scene Public Information Officer (PIO), Joint Information Center (JIC) manager, or crisis communication specialist for dozens of Type 1, 2 and 3 incidents, including the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Hurricane Katrina response and recovery, and 9/11 response and recovery operations in New York City.
Brandon has trained thousands of members of the U.S. national response community and has participated in nearly 50 full-scale emergency management and disaster response preparation exercises. He led joint-agency teams of federal public information officers to twice re-write the “Joint Information Center Model: Collaborative Communications During Emergency Response” for the U.S. National Response Team, and based updates on lessons learned and best practices from the 2010 Spill of National Significance exercise, the Enbridge oil spill response in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico.
Demonstrating expertise across the wide spectrum of PIO responsibilities, Brandon has served in varying on-scene roles, from initial Public Information Officer to Joint Information Center manager, spokesman, media escort, and photojournalist. Recognized as a subject matter expert, he supervised the development, revision, and implementation of specialty-specific measured qualification standards, correspondence courses, and testing for enlisted public affairs specialists that shaped future PIOs for the Coast Guard. He additionally served as service liaison and voting board member to joint service Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Md., for in-process reviews and training task selection boards for journalism, public affairs, photojournalism, and multimedia resident course curricula to enhance all military Public Information Officers.
Brandon studied journalism and communication at the Defense Information School and Old Dominion University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (Admin/Management Studies and Communications) from Excelsior College and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Old Dominion University. Brandon also holds a Type 1 Public Information Officer qualification.