Biden Names NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell to Lead FEMA
By Yehudit Garmaise
President-elect Joe Biden has named Deanne Criswell, who serves as the commissioner of New York City’s Emergency Management (NYCEM), to head up the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Commissioner Criswell comes well-prepared to the Cabinet post after leading the city’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and managing other emergencies, such as tropical storms, extreme summer heat, large fires, snowstorms, and power outages.
Before starting her work with Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 4, 2019, Criswell worked for FEMA during the administration of President Barak Obama for six years. A retired member of the Colorado Air National Guard, Criswell has served 21 years as both a firefighter and a deputy fire chief.
“I am incredibly honored to be nominated by President Biden to be the next FEMA Administrator,” said Deanne Criswell, who will be the first woman to lead FEMA, just as she was the first woman to head up NYCEM. “Over my career, I have focused on helping people impacted by disasters, and I am excited to do that on a national scale.”
“The American people deserve leaders like Deanne Criswell,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. “Deanne has been a fearless, expert, and deeply respected voice in this administration. I’m proud of all she has accomplished in New York City, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in her new role. On behalf of every New Yorker, I wish her all the best.”
Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President
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