JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University announced Thursday that Jeffery Blanton, a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has assumed the role of the university’s director of emergency management.

According to a release from ETSU, Blanton has also been named an Assistant Vice President for Administration.

Blanton previously served in multiple leadership positions within the FBI. He has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, working on both federal and local levels.

“Most recently, he was the supervisory senior resident agent for the Johnson City office of the Knoxville Division of the FBI where he led a team of 30 agents, task force members and support staff and was responsible for all FBI investigations in upper East Tennessee,” the release states.

According to ETSU, Blanton supervised a Joint Terrorism Task Force, as well as being a part of programs and task forces aimed at preventing human trafficking, organized crime and drug-related crime.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for ETSU to have Mr. Blanton on our team overseeing our work in emergency preparedness,” said Jeremy Ross, chief operating officer.  “A university campus resembles a small city in itself, and the issues that could potentially impact our community are very complex and ever-changing.  Mr. Blanton brings unparalleled expertise to this role and we are very fortunate to have him leading these efforts.”

Blanton was recognized for his accomplishment by being awarded both the FBI Special Agent of the Year award and the FBI Medal of Excellence in Leadership.

He is a graduate of Davidson College, where he earned a B.S. degree in chemistry before completing training at the FBI Academy and other institutes.