IAEM Praises Fugate, Obama's Choice for FEMA Chief

President Obama announced Wednesday he will nominate Craig Fugate for administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a DHS unit Fugate knows well because his state, Florida, has weathered 11 presidentially declared disasters during Fugate's eight years as director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. DHS said during that span, Fugate has presided over 23 Declared State Emergencies, including those 11 Presidential Declared Disasters.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano also announced Jason R. McNamara will be chief of staff for FEMA. McNamara is an associate vice president and director of Emergency Management/Homeland Security for the Emergency Management, Disaster and Mitigation Services Group of Dewberry, a privately held, Fairfax, Va.-based engineering firm. McNamara's work at Dewberry is focused on emergency management, homeland security preparedness, planning, interagency and intergovernmental relations, and congressional relations.

"These announcements represent a new chapter for FEMA. Both Craig and Jason bring a tremendous amount of emergency management experience to these positions, and they are just the first of a dynamic new team that is being brought in to lead this agency. Together, we can make FEMA a vibrant agency and an effective and efficient partner for state and local first responders," Napolitano said Wednesday.

The International Association of Emergency Managers United States Council's President, Russ Decker, CEM, said Fugate is a good choice. "We are pleased that a seasoned and experienced professional emergency manager has been tapped to lead the nation's emergency management agency," he said. "We believe that this move is a strong and clear statement of the importance that the administration places on having a fully functional FEMA led by top-notch professionals. IAEM looks forward to working with Fugate and FEMA to provide safety and security to all citizens and communities."

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