On November 1, 2013, James G. Featherstone was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as Interim Fire Chief of the LAFD. Featherstone, a native of Washington D.C. and veteran of the United States Navy, began his service with the City of Los Angeles in 1986 as an LAFD firefighter.
In his capacity as a firefighter and officer, Featherstone worked during numerous major local and regional incidents and events including the 1992 Civil Disturbance, the 1993 Firestorms, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and the 2000 Democratic National Convention. His varied assignments with the LAFD included tours as Public Information Officer, Recruit Academy Peer Instructor, Chief Officer’s Staff Assistant, Station Commander, Task Force Commander, and Tactical Training Officer. Additionally, he served on both the Executive Board and Negotiating Team of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112.
In 2007, Featherstone was appointed General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Emergency Management Department. He successfully reorganized the Department and restructured LA’s emergency management process by prioritizing coordination between disciplines and agencies while focusing on all-risk readiness. The LA EMD is now nationally recognized as a model of modern, effective emergency management. Featherstone is the current Chair of the National Advisory Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Featherstone earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Union Institute and University and is an alumnus of the National Fire Academy, and the Executive Leaders Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He has completed the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the Leadership in Crises Programs at Harvard University, where he is an Ash Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government's Program on Crisis Leadership. He is currently enrolled in the Executive Masters of Leadership Program at the University of Southern California.
Jim and his wife Shawn live in Los Angeles. Their adult daughter, Chuva, lives abroad.
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