NPR’s Pam Fessler reported this morning on the difficulty that the Administration is having in finding a new director for FEMA. She notes that the uncertainty over FEMA’s roles and its reporting structure are contributing to this difficulty, given the numerous proposals coming from DHS, the White House, and Congress about what to do with FEMA. She quotes Oklahoma’s director of emergency management, Albert Ashwood, to this effect:
“I donâ€™t have a good definition of what exactly the FEMA job is right now. I know what it used to be, and I know what the law says. But at the same time I donâ€™t know how it fits in the current system….I do know that there is a lot of concern about what actual authority you have as FEMA director right now.”
The story names two people who have turned down the job: Richard Andrews from California and Bruce Baughman from Alabama. It indicates that Acting FEMA Director David Paulison has committed to staying on until a permanent replacement is found, and that he is busily engaged in preparing for the coming hurricane season. Nevertheless, hopefully DHS will be able to sort out FEMA’s authorities and find a long-term replacement soon.