Friday, September 09, 2005

FEMA Director Ousted From Post - Recalled To Washington

As CNN reported if you click on the title post, FEMA Director Mike Brown was recalled to Washington because of his lack of experience in handling disater relief scenarios. My question is this: why in the heck would President Bush hire someone who didn't have that kind of experience? What? He lied on his resume?

Well, this is what the Detroit Free Press reported:

RESPONSE TO KATRINA: FEMA chiefs new to disaster relief

Leaders have little experience for jobs

September 9, 2005


Top officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have political connections to President George W. Bush, but they also share at least one other trait: They had little or no experience in disaster management before landing in top FEMA posts.

Michael Brown, who heads FEMA, has endured criticism for comments he made last week that seemed to suggest he didn't understand that thousands of hurricane victims had taken refuge at the New Orleans convention center.

Before joining FEMA in 2001, Brown, a protege of longtime Bush aide Joseph Allbaugh, was commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association and had virtually no experience in disaster management.

An official biography of Brown's top aide, acting Deputy Director Patrick Rhode, doesn't list disaster relief experience.

The department's No. 3 official, acting Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler, also doesn't have emergency management experience, according to FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule.

Rule said the lack of experience managing emergencies is irrelevant because top managers need "the ability to keep the organization running."

But Eric Holdeman, director of the King County Office of Emergency Management in Seattle, said that familiarity with the specifics of disaster management is essential. "Experience is not just general managerial experience, it's experience in the field," he said.


FEMA Officials should have disaster experience. That should be a given. This realization is a disaster in itself.