Does FEMA Have to Be a Disaster?

Submitted by JGratry on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 14:44.
12/16/2005 - 12:00
12/16/2005 - 13:30
James Lee Witt is chairman and CEO of James Lee Witt Associates, LLC, which provides disaster recovery and mitigation management services to governments, educational institutions, the international community and corporations. Credited with turning FEMA from an unsuccessful bureaucratic agency to an internationally lauded disaster management agency, Witt was hired by Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco on September 3, 2005, to oversee reconstruction efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Witt has more than 25 years of disaster management experience, culminating in his appointment as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he served from 1993-2001. In 1996, President Clinton elevated him to cabinet status, a first for a FEMA director.

From 1993 to 2000, Witt oversaw more than 350 disasters. He was responsible for response and recovery operations for six of the 10 most devastating disasters of all time, including the most costly flood disaster in the nation’s history, the most costly earthquake, and a dozen damaging hurricanes.

His leadership abilities have been praised by nationally recognized organizations, including the Council for Excellence in Government, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the National Association of Broadcasters.


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