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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Directors

Identify the former directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Using your text and other sources for research and review, submit a research paper on any one of the present and past directors.

This is to include: educational background, former professional positions, private and/or public sector experience, academic writings, accomplishments while leading FEMA, etc.

In this article, we will discuss the leadership of FEMA’s past and present directors.

First, it is important to know that the director is not only responsible for administering the agency but also for maintaining public confidence in FEMA by demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accountability.

This is especially true when it comes to FEMA’s activities during a disaster or emergency—the public needs to know what steps are being taken and how they are being implemented.

The first director of FEMA was William Ruckelshaus, who was appointed by President Nixon on July 1, 1973.

He had previously served as assistant attorney general under President Johnson and as chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Government Operations from 1969-1973.

Ruckelshaus’ most notable accomplishment while at FEMA was helping create its current structure—which includes both a National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and an incident management team (IMT).

Ruckelshaus resigned from his position as director in early 1975 due to concerns about his ability to focus on his other responsibilities due to his “unusual” workload (FEMA 2003).

FEMA Directors: A Short History

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established in 1979.

Since its founding, the agency has been led by directors who have made significant contributions to disaster management and preparedness.

The first director of FEMA was William F. Baker, Jr., who served from 1979 to 1984.

During his tenure at FEMA, he oversaw the establishment of the National Flood Insurance Program, which provides flood insurance to homeowners in areas prone to flooding; the development of a system for distributing grants from private insurance companies to help communities recover from disasters; and creation of a network of state emergency managers that had previously been nonexistent.

Baker also helped establish the National Response Plan (NRP), which is now in its ninth edition and is used by all levels of government during times of national emergencies. He resigned in 1984 after serving three years as director and two years as deputy secretary of HUD.

Baker’s replacement was James Lee Witt, who served from 1984 to 1991.

Witt was widely known for his work on natural disasters such as Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992; tornadoes; floods; earthquakes; hurricanes; forest fires; earthquakes; blizzards; spring flooding.

FEMA present and past directors

FEMA present and past directors educational background

The following lists the education level, field of study, and institution where each director obtained their degrees.

William A. Steber (2006-2008) B.S., Finance & Accounting, University of Virginia; Master of Public Administration, George Washington University.

Richard L. Russell (1989-2004) B.S., Environmental Engineering, University of Minnesota; Ph.D., Public Health Sciences (Epidemiology), University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

FEMA is a federal agency that provides leadership in building and implementing the nation’s disaster response and recovery capabilities.

The organization has been led by 13 directors over its history, with the most recent director being William “Brock” Long.

While there have been many distinguished leaders at FEMA over the years, this paper will focus on the work of three of them:

John W. Brown, who served as director from 1989 to 1991;

Louis W. Sullivan, who served as director from 1992 to 1994; and

Michael D. Brown, who served as director from 1995 to 1999.

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979, the agency was led by a board of directors composed of three members from each of the five regions of the United States.

There were 12 regional directors and one director for each state.

Today, there are four regional directors and one director for each state.

The Board of Directors is responsible for approving budgets, policies, and procedures; appointing staff; setting policy with respect to disaster preparedness; and overseeing the overall administration of FEMA’s programs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for responding to and recovering from all types of disasters in the United States.

The agency was established by Congress in 1979 after a series of devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters made it clear that a new organization was needed to help protect the country from future disasters.

FEMA currently has over 30,000 employees who are responsible for providing disaster response and recovery services across the country.

FEMA’s current director is Brock Long, who was appointed to this position by President Trump in 2017.

Prior to becoming FEMA’s director, Long worked as Trump’s deputy assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

He also served as an assistant secretary at DHS during the Obama administration.

Long received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lipscomb University and his master’s degree in public administration from Sam Houston State University.

His academic studies have focused on emergency management policy and strategy, homeland security policy, emergency response planning and operations, and disaster response planning.

As part of his work at DHS under President Obama, Long oversaw efforts to improve interoperability between federal agencies involved with disaster response and recovery efforts throughout the country.

FEMA’s past directors have a wide range of educational backgrounds and professional experience.

They have held both private and public sector positions, as well as academic writings and accomplishments while leading FEMA.

FEMA’s directors have been a mix of both private and public sector professionals, educators, and academics.

In addition, they have held executive-level positions at the state and local levels.

Many of FEMA’s directors have backgrounds in education or research.

For example, William Andrew Tollefson (FEMA’s first director) was a professor at Clemson University before he became FEMA’s first director.

He later became an adviser to President George W. Bush on emergency management issues.

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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