Homeland Security Advisors Series: Part V - Severe Weather Preparedness with Director Jim Butterworth (Georgia)

Homeland security advisors (HSAs) are the sole representative for the Governor to the US Department of Homeland Security. Although there is no one model for the HSA position, all HSAs are responsible for implementing the state’s homeland security mission, receiving classified threat information, and acting on behalf of the Governor in the event of a disaster or emergency. Despite the critical role HSAs play, little is known about the position. The Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) is conducting a podcast mini-series through the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Intelligence. Unclassified. The first episode of the podcast will provide an overview of the role of the HSA, discuss how HSAs interact with their governors, and identify how states play a role in homeland security. The remaining six episodes of the podcast will focus on specific threats HSAs face in their jurisdictions. The goal of this podcast series is to provide more awareness about homeland security advisors and the state role in homeland security.

In this episode, Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana speaks to Georgia Homeland Security Director Jim Butterworth on issues related to homeland security and severe weather preparedness in the wake of hurricane season. 




Governor Nathan Deal appointed Jim Butterworth Director in January 2015. Director Butterworth serves as the Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor and coordinates the state’s natural disaster and terror attack preparation, response and recovery. 

Director Butterworth was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Georgia. He has accumulated more than 11,000 flight hours between his military service, civilian flying and his career as a pilot for Delta Airlines. His military service included assignments at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., as a T-38 pilot instructor; service at Dover AFB, Del., as a C-5 pilot; and service in Georgia’s own 116th Bomb Wing as a B-1B aircraft commander and flight lead.

His public service began in 2004 when he was elected Chairman of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners. He also served as a State Senator representing the 50th District in Northeast Georgia. While in the Senate, he served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of several committees and was appointed Administration Floor Leader for Governor Deal. Additionally, Director Butterworth served four years as the Adjutant General of Georgia overseeing the Georgia Department of Defense.

Director Butterworth will help shape homeland security measures as an executive board member for the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council. The council is a national-level forum of expert advisors and works directly with federal agencies to develop homeland security policies and strategies.

Director Butterworth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science, and has been selected to attend the Executive Leaders Program at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is also a Leadership Georgia Fanning Fellow