Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders re-appointed A.J. Gary as Director of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and State Homeland Security Advisor on January 10, 2023, a position he has held since June 2016 by appointment from then-governor Asa Hutchinson.
As ADEM Director, A.J. serves on numerous committees, including Arkansas Safe Schools, Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee, Governor’s Cyber Advisory Council, Arkansas Governor’s Earthquake Advisory Council, Chair on the Arkansas 911 Board, National Governors Association’s (NGA) Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) Executive Committee, and on the board of directors for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium.
He is a retired police chief, serving over 28 years with the Conway Police Department. During a break in his law enforcement career, A.J. was the Chief Security Administrator for Air Transport International LLC, an international FAA Part 121 air carrier. In this capacity, he was responsible for all international and domestic security related issues involving the airline, including flight and cabin crew security training, facility security, and TSA and FAA regulatory compliance.
A.J. has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and a Master’s of Public Administration. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and attended the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leadership Program. When not working, A.J. spends time with his wife, three children and four grandchildren. He also enjoys fly fishing.