Mark Basnight

Co-Branch Director

Mark is an Emergency Management Communication Analyst in the National Preparedness Analytics Group at Argonne National Laboratory’s Decisions and Infrastructure Sciences Division. He is the Co-Director of the Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST) Fusion Cell and the National Public Affairs Academy. Basnight is responsible for facilitating and coordinating the science of communication between social scientists and those responsible for communicating critical messaging before, during, and after crises. His responsibilities also include assisting government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private sector groups with plans, training, and exercises relating to internal and external affairs.

A former Public Information Officer for the Charlotte Fire Department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management, Mark was responsible for the innovation of how the fire department and emergency management division engaged in public affairs. Basnight was the lead writer for all news releases and introduced new perspective for interacting, gathering and disseminating information pertaining to public affairs. He was responsible for research, development, and initiation of social media technology. The CFD was one of the first public safety agencies (2009) on the east coast to employ social media for risk and crisis communications. Mark was recognized by the Charlotte City Council for his efforts to develop the synergies that led other areas of city government to utilize social media.

Basnight is a founding member and a past Chair for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Virtual Social Media Working Group. He served as a Lead Public Information Officer during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and had a significant role in planning, coordinating and implementing the Joint Information Center for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Mark has established relationships and worked closely with police departments across the nation, the FBI, and the U.S. Secret Service. He is an alumnus of the inaugural FEMA 389 Masters Public Information Officer Course and has served as an adjunct instructor for the Emergency Management Institute (Emmitsburg, MD).

Basnight is a resourceful communication ace with over 12 years’ experience in the industry. He is accomplished at leading and managing international, national, regional, and tribal relations to promote knowledge, awareness, and support for multifaceted issues and programs. Mark has a degree in Communications and is sought after as a subject matter expert in the areas of media relations, crisis communications, emergency public information, Joint Information Systems\Centers and social media technology & strategy for public safety agencies. He is a nationally known communications crackerjack who has assisted dozens of communities and organizations in preparing to effectively communicate with multiple audiences during times of crises.