on Monday formally nominated Jeffrey Byard to serve as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), three months after the previous administrator resigned.
Trump indicated in February plans to put Byard’s name forward to replace Brock Long, who resigned that same month amid an internal ethics investigation and criticism over the administration’s handling of its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Byard currently serves as FEMA’s associate administrator for response and recovery.
Prior to joining FEMA, he worked for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, where he led the state evacuation during Hurricane Gustav and response and recovery operations following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
If confirmed by the Senate, Byard would oversee national disaster recovery efforts under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security.
During Trump’s tenure, the administration has had to grapple with numerous natural disasters, including hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and North Carolina, wildfires that ravaged California and widespread flooding in states across the Midwest.
Trump has repeatedly defended his administration’s performance on disaster recovery, particularly in Puerto Rico, where island officials have argued the response was inefficient and the president has lacked compassion.
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Trump pick to head FEMA sent to Senate for confirmation
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