Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 21, 2009

FEMA National Preparedness Nominee

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 21, 2009

President Obama has nominated Tim Manning as Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness (White House announcement is below).  This is a relatively new FEMA leadership position established by the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. 

When the National Preparedness office was stood up, here is how DHS described it: “The Preparedness Directorate  will focus on policy, contingency planning, exercise coordination and evaluation, emergency management training and hazard mitigation with respect to the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness (CSEP) and Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program (REPP). National Preparedness will oversee two divisions: Readiness, Prevention and Planning (RPP), and the National Integration Center (NIC). Readiness, Prevention and Planning will be the central office within FEMA handling preparedness policy and planning functions. The National Integration Center will maintain the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the National Response Plan (NRP), and will coordinate activities with the U.S. Fire Administration.”

Either by design – or perhaps as a legacy of practice and personnel – the grants office has not been as tightly tied to the Preparedness Directorate as I perceive would be helpful.  As the description suggests, this is the place where policy is translated into practice… and the right office to be sure that DHS grants do the same.

Mr. Manning may be most widely known as a co-chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium.  In that role he was credited for herding cats (or lions, tigers, and bears) in crafting the influential NHSC White Paper: Protecting Americans in the 21st Century (large pdf).

Late Friday, the White House Press Office released the nomination as follows:

Timothy W. Manning, Nominee for Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security

Timothy W. Manning is the Director of the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson. Manning was named the Department’s first Director by Governor Richardson in April 2007, having previously been appointed to the Cabinet as Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security in 2005 and as the State Director of Emergency Management since early 2003. Manning has also served as a Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Manning has a diverse background in emergency services, working in a number of positions in the State’s emergency management agency, including Chief of the Emergency Operations Bureau, and having been, at various times, a firefighter, EMT, rescue mountaineer, hazardous materials specialist, and hydrogeologist. In addition to Homeland Security, Manning also oversees the daily administration of the State’s disaster and emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. He is currently the Chairman of the Response and Recovery Committee and regional Vice President of the National Emergency Management Association, incoming Chair of the Association’s Homeland Security Committee, Co-Chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium, Chair of the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee, a Commissioner on the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, and serves as chair or member on many other National and State boards and commissions. Manning received a Bachelors of Science in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and is a graduate of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2009 @ 8:02 am

Manning is well-qualified to this posting (and it is a PAS position (Presidentially appointed Senate confirmed) so hope he has a speedy confirmation. If not PAS then I guess Non-career SES and he can start serving immediately. If I am correct the other Senate confirmed positions in FEMA are the Administrator (vacant with Craig Fugate nominated and no confirmation Senate hearing date set yet); the Deputy Administrator (vacant with no nominee); the Assistant Administrator for Fire (vacant with no nominee). One of the key FEMA programs with literally billions in outlays over last few years and loaded with huge insurance and policy issues is the Mitigation Division (not a Directorate) that should be returned to a PAS position styled as Federal Flood Insurance Administrator (the position of Federal Insurance Administrator created in 1968 lasted until its abolition in March 2003 under the Homeland Security Act of 2002). This position is the key mitigation position in the entire federal government although I have been an advocate that mapping of inland and riverine flooding be made a state function with the private insurance industry taking over all direct insurance perhaps with some federal reinsurance. The coastal areas of the country wherein the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program–42 USC 4001 and following) should remain federal but with mapping administered by NOAA combined with the CZMA (Coastal Zone Management Act) and the direct insurance portion administered by the same office that administers the terrorism insurance program in the Treasury Department. What many do not know is that disaster and insurance policy for natural hazards under the Clinton Administration was run out of the White House and Treasury and not FEMA. DHS leadership does not have a clue about the NFIP and does not understand it is designed to minimize federal disaster outlays.

Bottom line on the Preparedness Directorate is that Manning hopefully will be on board soon and that Directorate needs all the talent and competence it can get at the top. It still has huge shortfalls in budget and FTE and has been a stepchild as it bounced back and forth (or to and fro) between FEMA and other DHS components. Again time for amatuer night to end. Manning is a professional in all ways and badly needed on board now. With his background in geology that might really be helpful given the threat of vulcanic activity in the United States.

Comment by christopher Tingus

March 22, 2009 @ 2:39 am

We welcome you onboard Mr. Manning.

Sir, while you will undoubtedly be dismayed as to the lack of understanding portrayed by those before you, your integrity, experience and passion in prerequisite leadership in pofessionally addressing these substantial and most important issues will be supported by a forthcoming budget appropriations which we expect Mr. President et al will afford you to enable you to get the job done.

Your responsibilities are many, however tasks and decision-making which will finally be taken on by an individual who apparently understands the undertaking at hand. Our best to you! We here on the street support you!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA 02645

Comment by New Mexican

March 23, 2009 @ 9:39 am

I wish Mr. Manning all the best. However, many of us who have had the opportunity to work with him, have our reservations.

Comment by Bureau Chief

March 23, 2009 @ 10:26 am

I truly believe that this is in New Mexico’s best interests, as we will finally be able to move forward without a bureaucratic speed bump with only self interests in our way anymore. I wish Tim the best of luck in Washington, as this is where he truly belongs.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 14, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

Two footnotes. Confusingly there is a Preparedness Directorate in FEMA as well as the National Protection Programs Directorate in DHS. This latter organization is NOT part of FEMA but would be interesting to see how they are at sharing info and problems.

Secondly, I stated that the it was the MITIGATION Division in FEMA and now due to receiving a recent organization chart realize that it is a Directorate in FEMA. But my understanding is headed by NON-CAREER SES in past and not a PAS. Perhaps this will be modified in OBAMA administration or by Congress.

Pingback by Manning meeting moved | Homeland Security Watch

April 21, 2009 @ 6:49 am

[…] Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will not consider the nomination of Tim Manning tomorrow (Wednesday) as originally scheduled. Consideration of this nomination has been re-scheduled […]

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