FEMA Administrator Brock Long Has Resigned

According to CNN news at about 3:30pm EST, Brock Long has resigned as Administrator  of FEMA. Peter Gaynor will be the Acting Director. Gaynor’s official bio is here.

3 thoughts on “FEMA Administrator Brock Long Has Resigned

  1. So exactly what are you trying to say?? … That FEMA Administrators appointed under a Democratic President are somehow superior than those appointed under a Republican President??

    Please, what is your method of assessment beyond the typical federal bureaucratic determination that lengthy tenure always equates to superior service. Washington DC is one of the few places where quantity is of more value than quality.

    • Hey Dave, thanks for your comments.

      My main point is, that in my observation, GOP presidents have not been as supportive of, or attentive to FEMA as their DEM counterparts, and most of the GOP appointees have not had the same level of disaster experience as the DEM appointees.

      To be sure, Reagan wanted FEMA to do things, and he appointed Becton, who I thought was an excellent leader and whose military experience was relevant to disaster response.

      But after that, Stickney, Allbaugh, and Brown had zero disaster experience, and it showed, and their appointments had the appearance of afterthoughts. For example, after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 , Bush was asked why there was still no Director at FEMA. Bush’s reply: “I don’t know.” (Well, Mr. President, you’re the one who appoints one.) So Stickney, with no disaster experience, eventually got the job, and we had FEMA’s failure in Hurricane Andrew. Under Bush 2, it was campaign manager Allbaugh followed by horse-racing lawyer Brown and then of course, Hurricane Katrina.

      Trump, to his credit, appointed Long, who actually had some pretty good credentials unlike most of his GOP predecessors, and from what I’ve read Long instituted some noticeable improvements at FEMA. But now he’s gone.

      While longevity, of course, does not prove competence, it may be an indicator, as Mike Brown’s forced departure would indicate in the reverse circumstance. But I also believe that it shows that the FEMA Director feels that he has the full support of the President. Neither of the Bushes seemed very interested in FEMA, as evidenced by the appointments they made, and whatever Trump thought of FEMA, he did Long no favors by tossing rolls of paper towels out to the crowd in Puerto Rico. If Long felt that the President had his back, and that he had Trump’s full support, I think he would have stayed on. Why quit the job halfway through the Administration?

      Hope this explains my views, best wishes,

      Leo Bosner

  2. I worked at FEMA from 1979 until 2008, and I can’t recall a single FEMA director who served through a full term of a Republican President. Becton came in partway through Reagan’s term after Giuffrda bailed, Stickney came partway through Bush 1’s term, and Bush 2’s term saw Allbaugh-Brown-Paulison in succession. By contrast, Witt was there for all of Clinton’s term, and Fugate for all of Obama’s. In my opinion, Reagan was the only GOP president who much cared what FEMA was doing. I didn’t agree with Reagan’s CD policy, but at least he was paying attention to FEMA. For the Bushes and Trump, I think the FEMA post was just a plum to hand out, and it shows in how much or little support they gave FEMA.

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