Sharon W. Bryson

Senior Associate & Advisory Board

Sharon Bryson currently serves as the Senior Administrator for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency providing guidance and support to all aspects of the agency’s communication and community outreach initiatives. She retired from federal service in December 2022 where she served as the Managing Director for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). She joined the NTSB in November 1997 as a victim assistance specialist, later becoming the Chief of the Transportation Disaster Assistance (TDA) program. Sharon was promoted to TDA Director in January 2000 – the same day as the crash of Alaska Air flight 261 off the California coast.

As TDA Director, she responded to or managed the response to more than 140 major transportation accidents. Sharon’s hard work and dedication to assisting victims and their family members helped to transform this program into a highly regarded program within the agency, the transportation community, other federal agencies and beyond. The program’s model has been adopted by local, state and federal disaster response agencies, several nations and the United Nations body of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In 2010, Sharon was promoted to the Deputy Director of the Office of Communications and then in 2014 became the Director of the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications. In 2019, she was selected to serve as the first female Managing Director where she oversaw hundreds of accident investigations. In addition, she is credited with managing decisions that kept the agency personnel safe and working during the early phases of the pandemic.

Prior to joining the Safety Board, Sharon served more than 12 years as a civilian with the United States Air Force. She joined the Air Force as a family support specialist and was selected as the Center Director in 1990. In her role as the Director at Dover Air Force Base she was responsible for providing critical support to the Dover Port Mortuary.

While Sharon has had many accomplishments and received numerous awards including the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, she will be the first to tell you that “the single greatest honor of her career has been building the family assistance program at the NTSB and watching it grow to serve thousands of victims and families impacted by transportation disasters.”

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Rear Admiral (ret’d) Roger Girouard, OMM, CD, MA

Senior Associate & Advisory Board

Originally a Montréal native, Roger Girouard began his naval service at HMCS CARLTON in Ottawa as a Naval Reserve Ordinary Seaman Bos’n in 1973, before shifting to the permanent force and taking a commission as a Maritime Surface officer.
Becoming a qualified Destroyer Navigator, he navigated HMCS OTTAWA and participated on her Standing Naval Force Atlantic deployment and then the training destroyer HMCS QU’APPELLE before being assigned to VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre. He completed the Combat Control Officer Course in 1984, then served as Weapons Officer aboard HMCS ALGONQUIN. In July of 1985 he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMCS CHALEUR.  Promoted to Lieutenant-Commander in January 1986, he undertook command of HMCS MIRAMICHI. Next, he served as Officer Commanding the Maritime Command Detachment in Argentia, Newfoundland, from July 1987 to August 1989, serving with the US Navy doing ocean surveillance.
He was appointed as Executive Officer in HMCS ATHABASKAN in January 1990, participating in OP FRICTION as part of the Gulf War in 1991. He was promoted to Commander and given the opportunity to participate in the international Naval Command College. Upon graduation in 1992, he was assigned to the Personnel Branch of Maritime Command Headquarters, where he served as Senior Staff Officer for Personnel, Plans and Policies.
In July 1994, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMCS IROQUOIS, completing her class modernization project trials and transferring the ship to full operational status in First Maritime Operations Group as flagship. Promoted to Captain in June 1996, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander Naval Reserve at the Naval Reserve Headquarters at Pointe-à-Carcy in Québec City.
In August 1998, he was appointed the Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Maritime Forces Atlantic, Halifax. He was the head of operations during the domestic emergency coined as OP PERSISTENCE – the CF element of the SWISSAIR 111 salvage and recovery operation off Peggy’s Cove in 1998, when he was responsible for planning the Canadian Forces element’s efforts, chaired the daily multi-agency coordination meeting and served as liaison to the families of the victims.
He then transferred to the Pacific, as Commander Operations Group Four, and deployed to command Canada’s joint force contribution to OP TOUCAN in East Timor, joining the Australian-led coalition tasked with managing the turmoil in the aftermath to the Timorese vote for independence. Upon return, he was allowed to complete his Master’s at Royal Roads University before being promoted to Commodore and assigned to National Headquarters as Director General Maritime Personnel and Readiness in Ottawa. A year later, he was tasked to take ROTO 4 of Canada’s post-9/11 maritime mission and led the multi-national naval Task Force 151 during OP APOLLO in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in 2003.
His last appointment in the navy was as Commander Joint Task Force Pacific and Maritime Forces Pacific in Victoria, where he was responsible for naval readiness in the Pacific, served as the Search and Rescue Commander for the Region and held responsibilities for security and domestic emergency issues in BC, supporting planning for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the contingency work for potential flooding of the BC lower mainland in the Spring of 2007.
He retired from the Canadian Forces in September of 2007. He went on to serve as an associate professor at Royal Roads University supporting their Human Security and Peacebuilding Master’s Program. He was sought out to complete the Canadian Coast Guard Inquiry into the tragic sinking of the l’Acadien II, a sealing vessel home ported in the Magdalene Islands. As well, he had several volunteer lives, including the Canadian Defence Association Institute, the Salvation Army, the Coalition to End Homelessness, St. John Ambulance, Victoria Tall Ships and the TELUS Victoria Community Board.
In May of 2013, he assumed responsibilities as the Canadian Coast Guard’s Assistant Commissioner for Western Region, taking on the mandate of effectively delivering marine safety to the country’s dynamic west coast and supporting the roughly one thousand Coast Guard professionals who focus on protecting marine activities in Canada’s waters every day. Experienced in offshore operations, joint and interagency missions, disaster management as well as the realm of HR management, he brought many talents to an organization in transition. Within months, he was serving as the Incident Commander for the USAT ZALINSKI oil recovery effort in Grenville Channel. Over his tenure, he was instrumental in bringing enhanced operational capabilities to the Region, embedding the Incident Command System in its operational model and initiating a reset in the Coast Guard’s many relationships with the Indigenous communities of the coast.
Making a second attempt at retirement in early 2022, he and his wife of forty-five years, Rebecca, live in Sooke, B.C.

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Simon Hardern

Advisory Board

Simon joined the Royal Navy in September 1984 directly from school. His first years were spent at sea in Her Majesty’s Ships CATTISTOCK, NOTTINGHAM, LINDISFARNE and ALACRITY. Whilst on the latter, the Ship, when on deployment to the West Indies, provided humanitarian support to Hurricane-Hugo devastated island of Montserrat.

Having completed a ten-month tour as the Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland patrol vessel HMS CUXTON, he joined the staff of Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland as the Flag Lieutenant in May 1991. Returning to sea for a short tour as the Navigating Officer of the Type 23 frigate HMS LANCASTER, he qualified as a Warfare Officer in December 1995. He assumed Command of the Sandown class mine-hunter HMS WALNEY. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in November 1996, his final year with the Ship was spent deployed with NATO’s Standing Naval Force Channel.

Following a short period as the Operations Officer of the Type 22 frigate HMS BEAVER, he attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 1998. Graduating from the Advanced Command and Staff Course with an MA in Defence Studies, he joined the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic based in Norfolk, Virginia as the Military Assistant to the US 4* Commander. He received the US Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his services before, and after, the tragic events of 9/11.

He returned to the UK in October 2001 and led, for a short period, the Royal Naval Presentation Team. Assuming command of the frigate HMS KENT in April 2002, his time included a nine-month deployment to the north Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf as part of the UK’s effort with the Global War on Terrorism. Joining the Ministry of Defence in early 2004, he first had responsibilities for the planning and programming of all major logistics-related equipment procurement programmes and then, in 2007, as the Military Assistant to Chief of the Defence Staff for Personnel.

Promoted to Captain in September 2008, he became Secretary to the three Single-Service Chiefs of Staff and Ministerial Team. His final 8 years were spent working at NATO as: the Chief Staff Officer to Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Secretary to the Military Committee and Chief of Staff for the International Military Staff; and, finally, as a Rear Admiral, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, Exercises and Partnerships.

In June 2018, Simon joined a large Crisis and Disaster Management company as CEO. With dedicated full-time resources spread across the world, he ensured the provision of personnel and equipment as well as the incident response, particularly those involving major loss of life. This included directly supporting two aviation disasters in the USA and the southern Pacific Ocean.

Simon joined the UK Hydrographic Office in April 2020 as the Head of Partnering and Engagement; based in Washington DC, he has a roving brief covering all the Americas.

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Mark Dombroff

Advisory Board

Mark concentrates his practice on the aviation and transportation industries, including litigation, regulatory administrative and enforcement matters, investigations, airport and aircraft security and employment issues.

Mark has handled numerous safety, enforcement and regulatory matters before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other administrative agencies, whether arising from an accident or incident or other material compliance matter, including issues involving the Departments of State, Justice, the Treasury and Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Over the course of a career spanning more than four decades, Mark has tried dozens of jury and non-jury cases, ranging in length from one day to several months, and argued before state and federal appellate courts at all levels. He represented Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in the landmark Supreme Court case Boyle v. United Technologies, which established the government contractor defense, and in Mounsey v. Allied-Signal, a “friendly fire” litigation, winning the manufacturer’s dismissal from the case after the government invoked the state secrets doctrine to avoid responding to third-party subpoenas.

Mark has counseled and represented numerous airlines, including:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Arrow Air
  • Colgan Air
  • Empire Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • National Airlines
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Trans State Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Virgin America

He also advises and represents aviation service providers, including airports, fuelers, ground handlers, fixed base operators, maintenance and overhaul companies, catering companies, security companies, and airframe and other aerospace manufacturers.

Mark is outside general counsel to the Aviation Emergency Response Organization (AERO), which focuses on informing, educating, sharing and providing a forum for emergency response professionals from all aspects of the aviation industry worldwide, as well as the UAS Insurance Association, comprised of the leading aviation insurers providing insurance coverage to the rapidly growing drone industry.

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