Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned Monday, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The White House picked a top FEMA official with three decades of firefighting experience as his replacement.
R. David Paulison, head of FEMA’s emergency preparedness force, will lead the beleaguered agency, according to two senior administration sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.
Paulison is a career firefighter from Miami who was among emergency workers responding to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in 1996, according to a biography posted on FEMA’s Web site. He also has led the U.S. Fire Administration since December 2001, according to the site.
As chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, Paulison led 1,900 personnel under a $200 million operating budget. He was also in charge of Dade County’s emergency management office, according to his biography.