About the Director

Colonel SAndra Karstan

Sandy Karsten was named Director of the Department of Public Safety by Gov. Mike Parson on Aug. 27, 2018 and assumed the post effective Sept 1, 2018. She was confirmed by the Missouri Senate on Sept. 14.

At the time of her appointment, Karsten was the 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Colonel Karsten was the first woman to serve as Patrol superintendent and is the first woman to serve as director of the Department of Public Safety.

Karsten was appointed to the Patrol on September 1, 1985, as a member of the 57th Recruit Class. During her 33-year Patrol career, Karsten gained experience across all Patrol functions, from making drug interdictions to working undercover investigations into illegal gambling and prostitution. She served as an E-VOC instructor, teaching other troopers the driving skills to operate in high speed pursuits and hazardous conditions. 

She’s been involved in the response to major disasters in Missouri for the last three decades, from blizzards and ice storms to flooding and deadly tornadoes, and the July 2018 duck boat tragedy on Table Rock Lake, where the Patrol’s dive team worked for days.

Under Karsten’s leadership, the Patrol, for the first time: issued Tasers to road troopers; supplied Narcan, the opioid overdose antidote, and specialized overdose training to all Patrol troops; instituted enhanced technology for crash-scene mapping;  and conducted the Patrol’s first weapons upgrade in 22 years.

Her work also gave her experience with other DPS divisions, including the State Emergency Management Agency, Missouri National Guard, Division of Fire Safety, Missouri Veterans Commission and Missouri Gaming Commission.
Karsten was appointed to Highway Patrol superintendent on February 1, 2017 and confirmed by the Missouri Senate on March 9, 2017.

Karsten is a graduate of Putnam County High School in Unionville, Missouri. She earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Truman State University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Karsten is also a graduate of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute's School of Police Staff and Command. Karsten and her husband, Tim, have two sons.

About the Deputy Director

A fourth generation public servant, Gregg Favre was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Department of Public Safety on Jan. 2, 2017.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director, Gregg served as a Captain with the St. Louis Fire Department and member of the Fire Chief’s Command Staff. In this role, he provided leadership and policy direction to staff across the Department, including the offices of homeland security, special operations, public affairs and operational planning. He served as the on-scene commander for a wide variety of high profile national events, including dignitary visits from the White House, the World Series Playoffs for Major League Baseball, civil unrest related to Ferguson, Mo., and the nation’s second largest Mardi Gras celebration.

An accomplished author and public speaker, Gregg’s award-winning writing and research has been featured in a variety of national print, network and cable outlets, as well as testimony before Congress. He has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and NPR. In addition to his operational experience, he has served as the principal negotiator for a variety of partners, brokering events and contracts with the White House and the Office of the First Lady, Goldman Sachs, Paramount Studios, Target and ABC/ESPN/Disney.

A dedicated public servant, Gregg has received numerous citations and commendations for his professional endeavors, and was most recently honored as one of St. Louis' most influential young professionals, receiving the ‘Top 40 Under 40’ award. Gregg is a recipient of the national Firehouse® Heroism Medal for actions that are undertaken "at a great personal risk and without regard for one’s own safety." He is also a recipient of the St. Louis Fire Department Distinguished Service Medal, and a two-time recipient of the Police and Firemen’s Association Commendation Medal.

Gregg is a graduate of the United States Naval Postgraduate School, earning his masters in national security studies. He is an alum of The George Washington University School of Medicine, where he earned a masters with honors. He is a former Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government & School of Public Health, completing an applied research project on leadership and disaster response. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Central Missouri, double majoring in the social sciences.