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Obama nominates former volunteer as FEMA Administrator

Craig Fugate, who started his career as a volunteer firefighter, has been appointed the new Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Craig Fugate, President Obama's new pick for Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
President Obama has chosen Craig Fugate, the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, to be the new Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Fugate began his career as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic and has held several emergency management positions throughout his career.

He was the Emergency Manager for Alachua County in Florida, served as the chief of the state Emergency Management Division's Bureau of Preparedness and Response, and was appointed in 2001 by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to run the agency. In 2006, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist reappointed Fugate as Director.

In his current position, Fugate has dealt with a variety of disaster situations. Since his tenure began in 2001 he has presided over 23 official state emergencies, the dispersion of $4.5 billion in federal assistance, and steered Florida through a record number of hurricanes. Fugate's work and ability has not gone unnoticed on the national stage. In 2003, the Florida Emergency Management Program became the first program nationwide to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.

President Obama offered praise for Fugate, stating that "from his experience as a first responder to his strong leadership as Florida's emergency manager, Craig has what it takes to help us improve our preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, and I can think of no one better to lead FEMA."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano echoed the president, saying: "He will be a tremendous asset to FEMA and its employees."

Fugate's nomination will now be considered by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The hearing date has not been set at this time.

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