Government Technology

Ellen Gordon, FEMA Director Finalist, Says Agency Must Work with States, Locals


February 19, 2009 By

Ellen Gordon is reported to be one of two finalists to lead FEMA as the director under the Obama administration.

Gordon acknowledged having met with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and having follow-up conversations with Napolitano's staff in recent days.

"We had a good conversation. I found the secretary to be very interested in making the emergency management system in this country what it needs to be," Gordon said. "I was impressed with that. It would be an honor to serve the administration and serve the country in that capacity."

Gordon said the new FEMA director must engage stakeholders at all levels. "Working with the states, with the associations that represent the states, cities and counties and going to their tables and saying, 'From your perspective, what do we need to do, what should we be working on?' I've been a former state director and I continue to be involved with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and other organizations. I would hope that I could at least help build that bridge."

Gordon is a past president of NEMA and is currently associate director of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, Calif. She is the former chief of emergency management operations for Iowa and formerly the state's homeland security adviser.

Gordon said to avoid future debacles like the response to Hurricane Katrina, all stakeholders, including citizens, will have to be involved. "The emergency management system in this country needs to be strengthened, and the system is not just FEMA, the states and local governments," she said.

"No matter who's in the position of leadership, it's going to have to come from all directions. It's got to be a unified effort if we're ever going to be truly successful in building a strong emergency management system."

 


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
Emerging Technology Adoption in Local Government
In a recent survey conducted by Government Technology, 125 local government leaders shared their challenges, benefits and priorities when adopting emerging technologies such as cloud, mobility and IP. Read how your jurisdiction’s adoption of technology compares to your peers.
View All

Featured Papers