Sue Warner-Bean


Sue Warner-Bean is an emergency preparedness and response consultant specializing in transportation disaster family assistance. She has been an instructor for the USC Accident and Incident Preparedness course since 2007.

Currently, Sue is a Principal and Crisis Response Strategist with NavAid Crisis Consulting Group, partnering with clients to design customized crisis response strategies prioritizing human needs following a critical incident or disaster. She began consulting after a successful 20-year career with Seattle-based Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air), where she managed Customer Relations and Public Affairs before being tapped to create the airline’s Emergency Response Planning department, responsible for emergency response plans, training, procedures, facilities, and exercises. She also guided the development of family assistance procedures and training for all public contact employees, including recruiting and training over 800 employee volunteers for the CARE humanitarian team.

In her role as Emergency Response Director for Alaska Airlines, Sue co-led the family assistance response to Flight 261 (January 31, 2000; 88 fatalities). She continued to liaise with the NTSB, company executives, the family association, agencies, contracted service providers, and employees through all phases of the three-year response process. More recently, as an independent contractor, she facilitated operational debriefings for a 2016 fatal air medical accident and served on the family assistance leadership team for a 2017 passenger rail disaster with multiple injuries and fatalities.

Sue has developed emergency response programs, delivered training, and conducted exercises for various U.S. and international clients, including passenger and cargo airlines, business jet charter operators, air medical operators, airports, passenger rail operators, and international non-governmental organizations. She also served as Principal Investigator and co-author for the Transportation Research Board’s ACRP Research Report 171: Developing a Coordinated Local Family Assistance Program for Airports, published in 2017; the FAA-funded, peer-reviewed report includes a guidebook, tools, and training materials to support airports in family assistance program development.

A Seattle native, Sue is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies. She is a former steering committee member for the IATA Emergency Response Planners Working Group, served on the Partners in Preparedness Conference steering committee, and spent ten years as a Hospice volunteer. Currently, she is an associate member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a Board Member and Governance Committee Chair for PeaceTrees Vietnam, a non-governmental organization that sponsors the safe clearance of unexploded bombs and mines, provides mine risk education and accident survivor assistance and supports education and economic development in partnership with the people of Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.

Published on August 1st, 2018

Last updated on October 4th, 2023