Robert Griffin

Founding Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

The World Within Reach
Contact the Office of Media Relations at (518) 956-8150

Robert Griffin

College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
Department: Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

Emergency preparedness; homeland security; cybersecurity; internet of things/smart cities; smart violence and stadium security; American federalism; state and local governance

Campus phone: 518-442-5258
Campus email:


Griffin currently serves as the founding dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security (CEHC). He came to CEHC after a long career in homeland security at the federal and local levels of government. In the federal government, Griffin served as the acting under secretary for science and technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the deputy under secretary for science and technology, and the director of the science and technology directorate’s first responders group. While at DHS, he managed a diverse $1.1 billion portfolio of homeland security research. Griffin was recognized for his exceptional management and leadership skills in 2016 when President Obama awarded him the Presidential Rank Award (distinguished) the nation’s highest award for career members of the senior executive service.

Griffin came to DHS after a 20-year career in local government as a senior leader and first responder. He served as the first director of the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management, in Arlington, Virginia, Griffin developed a cross-functional department consisting of emergency management, law enforcement, fire/rescue, public health, and emergency communications personnel. While in Arlington, he organized and led relief efforts to Florida (2004), New Orleans (2005), and numerous regional and intra-state deployments.

Prior to his time in Arlington, Griffin served as the assistant county administrator and chief of fire and rescue in Loudoun County, Virginia, where he directed the county’s fire, rescue, bomb squad, emergency communications, and emergency management functions. In 2001, he led the Loudoun County Emergency Operations Center’s response to the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon, as well as the anthrax attack on the Dulles Postal Facility. He was also formerly the Executive Administrator of Tyngsborough, Mass. and Town Administrator of Townsend, Mass.

Griffin earned a doctor of philosophy degree in public administration/public affairs from Virginia Tech, as well as a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His dissertation was a study of the characteristics of coordination in the homeland security network.