Hank Lawson, Program Director for Exercises and Simulations with TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, has received the prestigious Regents Fellow Service Award. The annual award is the highest honor given by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and recognizes employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
Lawson was recognized for his leadership of the Texas All-Hazards Incident Exercise Program and the impact he has made upon Texas and the nation through his expertise in developing and facilitating disaster-preparedness exercises. Under his leadership, Texas’ preparedness efforts have grown from small, regional exercises to statewide events involving thousands of people. Because of this program, Texas is now one of the most prepared states in the country to handle large-scale, man-made or natural disasters.
“We are all safer because of his efforts,” said TEEX Director Gary Sera. “Because of Hank’s talent, dedication and hard work, the state of Texas is much better prepared to handle natural and man-made emergencies. Hank has provided exemplary service to the state through his leadership in the Texas Exercise Program.”
Exercises for Texas have covered the gamut from hurricane preparedness exercises to Regional Council of Government coordination exercises to communication interoperability exercises. Every full-scale exercise includes an after-action report that discusses strengths and weaknesses of the response efforts and development of improvement plans.
Former Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw said: “The Texas Exercise Program is held up as a prime example of doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. The individual at the center of this effort is Hank Lawson. His character, work ethic, knowledge, charisma, intelligence and tenacity blend in such a manner that he succeeds where others would not.”
Lawson holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He joined TEEX in 2002 after a distinguished 27-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps.