Meredith Austin, RADM (USGC, Retired) 

Mer Crisis Advisors, LLC.

Meredith Austin is the President of Mer Crisis Advisors, LLC, a crisis management consulting business which advises and trains leaders in best incident response practices.

Ms. Austin is a retired Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, with over 30 years of Leadership and Emergency Management Experience leading Coast Guard and interagency organizations in response to numerous high profile national level incidents, including collapse of World Trade Center towers, Hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Ike/Matthew and Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

From February 2020 to February 2021, Ms. Austin served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Incident Command and Control within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Health and Human Services (HHS). Her duties included: overseeing the leadership team managing the Department’s Continuity of Operations Program (COOP), Critical Infrastructure Program (CIP) and the HHS Secretary’s Operations Center (SOC).

In addition, from July 2020-Feb 2021, Ms. Austin served as the ASPR Deputy Director of the Joint Coordination Cell (JCC) established to support the Secretary in managing the COVID intra/interagency response.

From August 2018 to February 2020, RADM Austin served as Coast Guard Deputy for Operations, Policy, and Capabilities. In this capacity, she was responsible for creating and implementing operational strategy, policy, capability, resources, and budget to achieve national priorities for U.S. Coast Guard operational missions, programs, and services.

As a U.S. Coast Guard officer, she held numerous significant executive positions, including Fifth District Commander leading operations, budgeting and resource management throughout the mid-Atlantic states; Commander, Sector Delaware Bay, executing the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions along the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania; and Commanding Officer, Pacific Strike Team and Commander, National Strike Force, managing the Coast Guard’s specialized response capabilities to oil and hazardous materials spills and Weapons of Mass Destruction events in support of Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense On-Scene Coordinators throughout the United States, its territories, and other nations.

She is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Bachelor of Science in Marine Science, and was awarded a Master’s of Arts in National Defense Studies-Homeland Security from the Naval Post Graduate School, and later received a Master of Science in Public Health in Industrial Hygiene from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

She is certified as Coast Guard/NIIMS Type 1 Incident Commander, and Coast Guard/NIIMS Type 1 Area Commander. She is certified as an International Association of Emergency Managers Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and as an American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).