Summary: Lieutenant General Jeffery “Jeff” Buchanan commanded troops at every level, from platoons (40 soldiers) to theater armies (more than 50,000 troops from all branches of the military). He served four combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. From 2016-2019, Jeff led the military response in support of FEMA for five major hurricanes (Matthew, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence). He also led more than 6,000 soldiers and marines supporting the Department of Homeland Security for security of the southwest border. Jeff’s rare and unique leadership experience and training comes from hard-won time on battlefields and in crisis situations. Both the Secretaries of Defense and the Army recognized Jeff for his exceptional leadership and critical contributions to national security. The Surgeon General of the United States and the Governor of Puerto Rico presented Jeff special awards for his selfless service and leadership successes in saving lives in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. And after a 37-year career in the Army, Jeff retired from active duty in September, 2019.
Today, Jeff teaches, trains and consults on leadership in virtual and in-person workshops. He has influenced the leadership style of thousands, ranging from from MBA students at Georgetown and Tulane to incident management leaders of FEMA, from emerging leaders on the Pacific islands of Guam and American Samoa to community leaders in rural Zimbabwe, and from military leaders to law enforcement officials to college football coaches. In January 2021, The US House of Representatives asked Jeff to analyze the security challenges and cultural and leadership failures of the US Capitol Police. He spent six weeks in Washington DC and met with numerous law enforcement and intelligence leaders, analyzing everything from infrastructure to cyber security. Jeff led three presentations to Congressional Members from both political parties and was subsequently requested to testify before the House Administration Committee regarding what he learned and recommended to change. As a result, Congress passed legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support to fulfill Jeff’s recommendations and enhance security of the Capitol.
Now, Jeff currently serves as a Senior Fellow for National Defense University and a Senior Mentor for the Army. He serves on the boards of directors for Worldmaker International/The National Resilience Institute, 360 VA, Arizona State Parks and Trails, and is a board advisor for the Autonomy Institute. Jeff has appeared on numerous national and international television shows on all of the major US networks (CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CSPAN). He has been interviewed and quoted in more than 50 newspapers including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and USA Today. AP, AFP, Reuters, the BBC, and Al Jazeera have all sought his expertise and quoted him.
Why would a prospective client want you to be their keynote speaker or to support their speaking event? What are some compelling aspects of your background/career/experience that we should know about?
Leadership changes as the external circumstances change, and the company’s internal elements shift. General Buchanan’s ability to apply his hard-won wisdom from the battlegrounds of Iraq to the ravages of the hurricane in Puerto Rico give him an almost singular ability to get to the core of the issues affecting any team or its leader, provide insights and assets from his rare viewpoint and help leaders make the critical judgment calls – especially in times of crisis.
What are your primary topics/areas of expertise? Some examples may include: Conflict resolution, International Relations, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Cybersecurity, as well as specific countries or geographical regions.
- International relations
- Natural disasters and our responses to them
- Border security
- Managing complex operations
- Crisis leadership and its pitfalls
- Ethics and values in leadership and the results of a lack in either
- Strategic communications
- Unleashing innovation and talent
- Cultural diversity and sensitivity – across generations, countries, cultures, departments or branches of the military
- Talent development and management
- Unifying disparate opinions to achieve a unified objective
- The nexus between military and civilian goals and processes
What are some positions you have held in your career that you would like prospective clients to know about?
- Commanding General, US Army North (Fifth Army) 2016-2019: Responsible for all land domain operations in North America (including the Arctic) and led the federal military response in support off FEMA for five major hurricanes (Matthew, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence). Also commanded more than 6,000 Soldiers and Marines in support of Customs and Border Protection for security of the SW border and led military efforts in support of the National Interagency Fire center in support of woodland firefighting.
- Deputy Commander, US Forces-Afghanistan and DCOS-Operations, Operation Resolute Support (2015-2016): Served as the deputy commander for all US forces in Afghanistan responsible for security, security assistance, and counterterrorism operations. Was dual-hatted as the Director of Operations for NATO’s resolute Support mission and planned, coordinated, and supervised execution of operations for a 49 country member coalition in Support of Afghan forces. In addition to the tour in Afghanistan, served four combat tours in Iraq (2003-2011).
- Commanding General, Military District of Washington/Joint Task Force National Capital Region (2013-2015): Served as a Joint Task Force Commander 8 times and was responsible for all security operations in the National Capital Region. Also responsible for joint and Army ceremonial operations and the President’s escort for memorial ceremonies in Arlington National cemetery.
What are some speaking events you’ve supported recently?
- 1. Army War College (DEC 22): Homeland Defense
- 2. Dickinson College (Master’s Course in Emergency management, NOV 22): Crisis Leadership
- 3. Worldmaker International/Michigan State University (OCT 22): Building Resilience
- 4. Combined/Joint Land Component Commander’s Course (OCT 22): leading in complex operations
- 5. US Army Pacific (JUL 22): Theater Operations
- 6. Asia/Pacific Leader’s Forum (May 22): disaster response
- 7. FEMA IMAT leadership development course (APR 22): crisis leadership
Do you have any articles or publications? Have you been featured in any? If so, what were they?
- AMA Quarterly magazine: https://www.flipsnack.com/5FC9E86D75E/ama-quarterlyspring_summer-2022/full-view.html
- Authority Magazine: https://www.medium.com/authority-magazine/jeffrey-buchanan-five-thingsyou-need-to-be-a-highly-effective-leader-during-uncertainturbulent-817aed36565f