On the nomination of Fugate, Obama said, "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. I’m confident that Craig is the right person for the job and will ensure that the failures of the past are never repeated.”
Fugate is the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, where he oversees 138 full-time staff members who coordinate disaster response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation efforts with each of the state’s 67 counties and local governments. In September 2003, under Fugate’s leadership, the Florida Emergency Management Program became the first state emergency management program in the nation to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.
Prior to working at the state level, Fugate had a 15-year career in local government, including positions of volunteer firefighter, paramedic, fire rescue lieutenant and emergency manager for Alachua County, Fla.
The International Association of Emergency Managers United States Council (IAEM-USA), the nation’s largest emergency management professional association, said it supports Fugate’s nomination.
“We are pleased that a seasoned and experienced professional emergency manager has been tapped to lead the nation’s emergency management agency,” stated IAEM-USA President Russ Decker, CEM. “We believe that this move is a strong and clear statement of the importance that the Administration places on having a fully functional FEMA led by top-notch professionals. IAEM looks forward to working with Fugate and FEMA to provide safety and security to all citizens and communities.”