Lucien Canton

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government


Former Director of Emergency Services, San Francisco

Key areas of expertise:

  • Emergency management standards, concepts, and strategies
  • Research-based crisis planning
  • Crisis management
  • Organizational development and leadership
  • Professional development for emergency managers

Lucien Canton is a management consultant specializing in helping managers lead better in crisis. He has been in turn a professional soldier, a private security manager, and an emergency manager before becoming a consultant.

Following the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, Canton joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an emergency management programs specialist, rising to chief of the Hazard Mitigation Branch for Region IX. He was appointed by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. to serve as his Director of Emergency Services in 1996. Since 2004, Canton has been an independent management consultant to both private and public organizations.

Considered a thought leader in emergency management, he is a frequent speaker at national conferences and a guest lecturer at universities both in the United States and abroad. His book, Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs, is used as a textbook for both graduate and undergraduate courses.

Canton is a Certified Emergency Manager and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Business Administration in International Management degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.